Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian expressed hope that Russia will help to maintain robust economic growth in Armenia when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg on Thursday.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of an international economic forum held in Russia’s second largest city. According to the Kremlin, the two leaders discussed Russian-Armenian relations and “regional cooperation.”
Putin praised bilateral ties in his opening remarks at the talks also attended by other senior Russian and Armenian officials.
“I want to remind that Russia is Armenia’s leading trading partner: 26 percent [of Armenia’s foreign trade,] almost $2 billion in direct investments and many other things which show the special, allied character of our relations,” he said.
Pashinian described those relations as “strategic” before touting a 7.1 percent economic growth rate recorded in Armenia in the first quarter of this year.
“I’m talking about this because obviously these are good indicators not only for Armenia but also the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), because our economic indicators are connected in large measure to our relations in the EEU and Armenian businesses’ access to the Russian market,” he told Putin. “This is very important.”
“I hope that we will manage to find solutions on some issues which will not break this good pace of economic growth,” added the Armenian leader.
It was not clear whether Pashinian referred to the price of Russian gas for Armenia or other economic factors shaped by Moscow. Putin’s and Pashinian’s press offices did not disclose details of their discussions on economic issues.
In December, Russia’s Gazprom raised the wholesale price of its gas delivered to Armenia by 10 percent. The retail price for Armenian consumers has remained unchanged so far.