“In January-August this year, Armenia’s trade with [the other] EEU countries reached $2.8 billion, up by 74 percent from the year-earlier period,” Pashinian said at the meeting.
Armenian government data shows that Russia accounted 95 percent of that figure, solidifying its status as Armenia’s number one trading partner. Armenian exports to Russia doubled to almost $1.1 billion in the eight-month period despite the barrage of Western sanctions against Moscow.
Armenia was initially expected to be hit hard by the sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and other Western powers following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russian-Armenian trade fell in March but recovered strongly in the following months as the Russian economy proved more resilient than expected.
Economic growth in the South Caucasus state is now on course to reach a double-digit rate. It has also been helped by a surge in cash remittances from Russia.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion in Yerevan on Friday, Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov described Armenia as “one of the beneficiaries of the resetting of Russia’s economy and flows of goods and services” resulting from the sanctions. He said the continuing exodus of Western firms from the Russian market is opening up more business opportunities for Armenian firms.
Pashinian described rising trade among the five ex-Soviet states making up the EEU as proof of “serious successes” achieved by the Russian-led trade bloc. “An extensive common market has been created,” he said.
Pashinian at the same time renewed his calls for the creation of a “common gas market” that could lower the cost of Russian natural gas imported by Armenia and other EEU member states. He called that a “necessary condition for realizing the potential of economic integration.”
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin insisted that Moscow remains committed to the eventual creation of such a market. But he emphasized that the Russian gas price for Armenia and other resource-poor member states is already well below international market-based levels and that it has remained unchanged just as global energy prices skyrocketed in recent months.
“I believe that our Union seriously protects its participants against unjustified rises in the cost of energy resources,” Mishustin said in Yerevan.