Kerobian discussed the matter with Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov during a visit to Moscow.
Official Armenian and Russian press released on their talks noted that Russian-Armenian trade rose last year by 12.7 percent to over $2.5 billion. Russia thus solidified its status as Armenia’s number one trading partner.
Kerobian was reported to express concern at the fact that bilateral trade began falling in March. According to the Armenian Ministry of Economy, he suggested to Manturov that the two sides work together to “urgently eliminate the causes of the decline and restore growth.”
It was not clear whether Kerobian proposed any specific measures for that purpose.
The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade reported, for its part, that the two ministers discussed “a number of joint projects in various sectors.”
“Denis Manturov stressed the importance of developing cooperation in the following spheres: mining, metallurgy, chemical industry and agricultural engineering,” it said in a statement.
The close economic ties between the two countries are the reason why Armenia is expected to be significantly affected by the Western sanctions. The Central Bank of Armenia (CBA), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have forecast that the Armenian economy will barely grow this year.
“The impact of the war in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia is likely to be significant given Armenia’s strong economic links with Russia,” the World Bank said in a report released on Monday.
The CBA warned earlier that Russian-owned companies operating in Armenia will experience major “difficulties and disruptions” because of the crippling sanctions.
One such company, the Teghut mining giant, suspended operations on March 14. The company employing 1,100 people is controlled by Russia’s VTB bank sanctioned by the United States and the European Union.