Private remittances from Russia to Armenia continued to fall in September, according to the latest statistical data posted by the Central Bank.
The total transfers made by individuals last month stood at $153.3 million, which is 8.6 percent less than the figure reported for September 2013 ($167.7 million).
Economists explain the decline in the private remittances from Russia by the continuing economic stagnation observed in the country that currently also experiences the negative effects of Western sanctions imposed over the crisis in Ukraine.
Whereas according to the forecast made by the International Monetary Fund last October Russia’s economy would expand by 3 percent in 2014, a similar forecast made earlier this month refers to a mere 0.2 percent economic growth to be achieved by the end of the year.
The continuing devaluation of the Russian ruble is cited as another major reason for the decline in the amount of private remittances to Armenia as the ruble today can buy fewer dollars and Euros. According to the Central Bank of Russia, the Russian ruble has lost 28.7 percent of its value against the US dollar since the beginning of this year.
Russia is the second largest trading partner of Armenia after the European Union, but about 85 percent of all remittances that are vital for the Armenian economy comes from Russia (data for 2012-2013).
According to the Central Bank of Armenia, last May, as compared to May 2013, the decline in remittances was insignificant, amounting to only 1.1 percent (in May of this year physical persons transferred a total of $126.5 million from Russia to Armenia, compared with $128 million in May 2013). In August, however, the decline already made 9 percent (in August 2014, $167.7 million were transferred from Russia to Armenia, as against $184.4 million in August 2013).
On October 10, Armenia signed a treaty on joining the Eurasian Economic Union, a Moscow-led post-Soviet trade bloc that will replace the current Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan beginning next year.