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Armenian, Russian PMs Discuss ‘Global Economy’ Processes


Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian (L) and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Kazakhstan, Jan. 31, 2020

Processes taking place in the global economy have become a subject of discussion during a telephone conversation between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Mishustin.

The conversation was reported by Pashinian during a constitutional referendum campaign rally in the southern town of Kapan on Tuesday.

“I’ve had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin. We discussed the processes taking place in the global market and economy, and our plans,” the Armenian prime minister said, without elaborating.

Pashinian took a vacation today to start a series of rallies ahead of the April 5 referendum in which his political team seeks the termination of powers of seven of the nine judges of the Constitutional Court, including the body’s chairman Hrayr Tovmasian.

His remarks at the rally in the provincial town came amid growing concerns among Armenians about the economic situation in Russia fueled by plummeting oil prices.

The Russian ruble continued to depreciate on Tuesday reaching a four-year low against the U.S. dollar amid a nearly 30-percent plunge in international oil prices –the largest decline since 1991.

Russia is one of the key trade and economic partners of Armenia. According to Armenia’s Statistics Committee, the Russian market accounted for nearly 28 percent of Armenia’s exports (worth over $730 million in absolute terms) in 2019.

Armenian Economy Ministry spokeswoman Anna Ohanian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am) on Monday that the Armenian government was conducting “a comprehensive analysis” of the global and regional economic trends influenced by the falling oil prices and the tumbling Russian ruble in order to send “correct signals” to local manufacturers and exporters.

She said that changes taking place in Russia cannot but have an effect on the Armenian economy, which is a member of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, a post-Soviet trade bloc also including Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

“The Russian Federation is one of our main trading partners. The Eurasian Economic Union, and Russia in particular, are a market for a considerable amount of our exports. Naturally, changes taking place there cannot but have an effect on our economy. Other things being equal, a depreciating ruble may have an impact on the competitiveness of Armenian manufacturers as compared to other main producers,” Ohanian said.

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