Russia’s government has pledged to help increase Russian investments in Armenia, Prime Minister Karen Karapetian said during an official visit to Moscow that ended on Wednesday.
Meeting with prominent members of the Armenian Diaspora in Russia late on Tuesday, Karapetian said he is “very satisfied” with talks held with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.
“We received explicitly positive answers to all of our proposals,” he said, adding that they primarily relate to the creation of a “Russian-Armenian integration fund for attracting Russian capital to Armenia.” He also said in that regard that Russian companies will invest in a free economic zone which is due to be launched later this year on Armenia’s border with Iran.
A separate statement by the Armenian government statement similarly said that Medvedev backed an Armenian proposal to create Russian-Armenian “investment fund” that would finance business projects in Armenia.
Medvedev mentioned the issue when he addressed journalists after the meeting with Karapetian held near Moscow. “We agreed to instruct relevant [Russian and Armenian] agencies to look into the possibility of creating such a fund,” he said.
In that context, the Russian prime minister hailed a sharp rise in Armenia’s 2016 exports to Russia and spoke of a “very good” potential for their further growth.
Karapetian’s trip to Moscow, the first since his appointment as prime minister in September, attracted an unusually strong interest from Russia’s leading TV stations loyal to the Kremlin. All of them aired detailed reports on his talks with Medvedev.
This fact may be construed by some commentators in Armenia as an expression of Russian support for Karapetian. The latter lived and worked in Russia from 2011-2016, holding senior executive positions in local subsidiaries of the Gazprom energy giant.
In what may be a related development, more than three dozen Russian businesspeople of Armenian descent issued a statement on Tuesday voicing “full support” for what they described as “profound reforms” planned by Karapetian’s cabinet. They also expressed readiness to “participate in joint initiatives and business projects with the Armenian government.”
The statement followed the entrepreneurs’ meeting with Karapetian held at a Moscow restaurant belonging to Russian-Armenian billionaire Samvel Karapetian (no relation). The tycoon was also present at the premier’s separate meeting with Armenian Diaspora representatives.