The two neighboring states agreed to allow mutual air freight traffic last July after a series of normalization talks held by their senior representatives. Ankara notified Yerevan in early January that it has formally allowed such shipments.
Garik Minasian, the head of a customs terminal at Yerevan’s Zvartnots international airport, said on Friday that no cargo planes from Turkey have landed there since then. He insisted that no Turkish imports to Armenia are banned at the moment.
So far there have also been no indications of Armenian exporters airlifting cargo to Turkey. According to Gagik Musheghian, an Armenian businessman based in Istanbul, Ankara has still not lifted a ban on imports of Armenian goods which has been in place since the early 1990s.
“You can’t [legally] bring anything from Armenia to Turkey,” Musheghian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.
The ban had been imposed in conjunction with the closure of Turkey’s border with Armenia. Ankara has since made its opening as well as the establishment of diplomatic relations with Armenia conditional on an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace deal acceptable to Azerbaijan. Turkish leaders have repeatedly reaffirmed this precondition since the start of the normalization talks with Yerevan in January 2022.
After visiting Ankara last week, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said that he and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu agreed to speed up the normalization process. Speaking at a joint news conference with Mirzoyan, Cavusoglu appeared to link that process to the outcome of Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks.
Armenia banned most Turkish imports during the 2020 war with Azerbaijan, citing Ankara’s “inflammatory calls,” arms supplies to Azerbaijan and “deployment of terrorist mercenaries to the conflict zone.” Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s government lifted the ban a year later.