TSAGHKADZOR  — Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan hailed on Thursday a continuing sharp increase in Armenia’s trade with Russia which results in large measure from Western economic sanctions against Moscow.

Meeting with his visiting Russian counterpart Mikhail Mishustin, Pashinyan said it shows that Russian-Armenian relations remain “very strong” despite “problematic issues” causing friction between the two nations.

Russian-Armenian trade doubled last year and in the first half of this year as the South Caucasus country took advantage of the barrage of sanctions imposed on its main trading partner following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This, coupled with other cash inflows from Russia, is the main reason why the Armenian economy grew by over 12 percent in 2022.

According to the Armenian National Statistical Committee, the trade turnover between Armenia and Russia in the first half of 2023 amounted to about $3.1 billion, surging by 87.3% year-on-year. Armenian exports to Russia amounted to about $1.7 billion, increasing 3-fold, while imports amounted to $1.4 billion with a 28.6% growth.


“It must be said that our commercial exchange reached $5 billion in 2022 and this growth is continuing. This year we have already passed the $3 billion mark and hope that this year we will surpass last year’s volume,” Pashinyan told Mishustin in his opening remarks.

“We have a very strong and durable relationship,” he added during talks held in the Armenian resort town of Tsaghkadzor on the sidelines of a meeting of the prime ministers of Eurasian Economic Union member states.

“Despite the difficult foreign economic situation, Russia’s trade and economic ties with Armenia are growing stronger … and this makes us happy,” Mishustin said for his part.

“We continue cooperation in energy, peaceful nuclear industry, mining and transportation logistics. There are a number of high-tech projects. I think that our business missions, which regularly arrive in Armenia, have a very good impact on the overall economic development. We propose to intensify the work in all directions with the focus on innovation projects,” Mishustin said.

In line with Russia’s broader efforts to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar, Mishustin called for greater use of the Russian and Armenian currencies in bilateral trade. He also proposed that Moscow and Yerevan “accelerate work” on joint investment projects in Armenia.

The soaring trade is primarily driven by Armenian exports to Russia that tripled in 2022 and January-June 2023. Goods manufactured in third countries and re-exported by Armenian firms are thought to have accounted for most of that gain. They include consumer electronics as well as other hi-tech goods and components which Western powers say could be used by the Russian defense industry.

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