The two men met in the Kazakh city of Almaty on the sidelines of a regular session of the prime ministers of Eurasian Economic Union member states.
“In January-November last year, our mutual trade increased by 77 percent compared to 2021,” Mishustin told Pashinian. “It exceeded $4.1 billion, which is a record high in our mutual trade.”
Official Armenian statistics shows an even more drastic increase. Russian-Armenian trade almost doubled, to $4.4 billion, year-on-year, according to it. The figure accounted for more than one-third of Armenia’s overall foreign trade.
Armenian exports to Russia nearly tripled, to just over $2 billion, in the eleven-month period, generating 44 percent of the South Caucasus country’s total export revenue. They most probably included goods manufactured in third countries and re-exported from Armenia to Russia as a consequence of the Western economic sanctions against Moscow.
Mishustin suggested that Armenia can take even greater advantage of last year’s exodus of Western companies from Russia resulting from the sanctions.
“Armenian entrepreneurs now have excellent opportunities to work in our market in connection with the withdrawal of unfriendly states from it,” he said.
Pashinian also hailed the “very good” rise in bilateral trade. He thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mishustin for personally helping Armenia overcome logistical problems arising in import and export operations with Russia.
At the same time, Pashinian pointed to “some problems” in security ties between the two allied countries. He again complained that Russian peacekeeping forces deployed in Nagorno-Karabakh have still not unblocked the Lachin corridor effectively closed by Azerbaijan on December 12.
Some of Pashinian’s political allies said later in December that Russia is using the Azerbaijani blockade to try to clinch far-reaching concessions from Armenia. Moscow strongly denied those claims.
Pashinian added to the Russian anger on January 10 when he declared that Russia’s military presence in Armenia may be putting his country’s security and territorial integrity at greater risk. The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the claim as “absurd.”
Pashinian, who spoke with Putin by phone earlier this week, also told Mishustin on Thursday that Russia remains “Armenia's key partner in the field of security.”