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Membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is one of the factors behind economic growth in Armenia, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday during talks with his visiting Armenian counterpart Nikol Pashinian.

“On the whole our relations are developing steadily and dynamically,” Medvedev told Pashinian at the start of their meeting in Moscow. “This is also connected with the fact that your country’s economic development figures have been rather good lately. Our economy is also developing.”

“This is the result, among other things, of work done within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union,” he said.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin also said Armenia’s economy has benefited from being part of the Russian-led trade bloc when he met with Pashinian on Wednesday. Putin pointed to rising Armenian agricultural exports to Russia.

Pashinian criticized Armenia’s accession to the EEU and even called for its withdrawal from the bloc as recently as last November. He was an opposition parliamentarian at the time.

Pashinian made clear that he will not pull his country out of the EEU or the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) after a protest movement led by him brought down the previous Armenian government in late April.

Pashinian told Medvedev that his government is keen to make Armenia’s membership in the EEU “more effective.” “We are certainly ready to work in this direction,” he said.

“I think that everything in our relations is now developing very positively … We have many common interests,” added the Armenian premier.

According to official statistics, the Armenian economy grew by 7.5 percent last year and this growth continued practically unabated in the first quarter of this year.

Russia remained Armenia’s number one trading partner in 2017, accounting for about 27 percent of its foreign trade. Armenian exports to Russia rose by almost 45 percent to more than $541 million.

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