It is not clear whether most of them live in Russia or Armenia and when they applied for a Russian passport.
The figure reported by the authorities in Moscow is the highest in the last four years.
Russia’s Federal Migration Service (FMS) has also reported a sizable increase in the number of Armenian nationals seeking permanent residency permits in the country. The FMS had roughly 300,000 such applications in the first half of this year, up from about 200,000 in the same period of 2020.
Ruben Kirakosian, a Moscow-based Armenian lawyer dealing with migration issues, believes that these figures reflect in large measure an increased number of Armenians willing to emigrate because of last year’s war in Nagorno-Karabakh and lingering security challenges facing their country.
“The post-war depressive situation in Armenia weighs heavily on people’s day-to-day lives,” Kirakosian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. “Unfortunately, many decide to move to Russia, at least temporarily, because it is not clear what the future holds for the region.”
He noted that few of them renounce their Armenian citizenship after obtaining Russian passports.
Armenian government data also shows a significant rise in the number of people who have left the country since Moscow lifted a coronavirus-related entry ban for Armenians in January.
In Kirakosian’s words, Russian government decisions facilitating immigration from other ex-Soviet states have also contributed to this trend.
“Russian migration legislation and rules have been liberalized because there are serious demographic problems in this country,” he said. “Russia is interested in admitting citizens of foreign states and especially members of the Eurasian Economic Union.”
According to the FMS, around 500,000 Armenian nationals lived in Russia as of November 2013. Hundreds of thousands of others had been granted Russian citizenship since the early 1990s.