Russia pays special attention to the unblocking of transport and economic infrastructure in the South Caucasus, in accordance with the agreement reached between the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said at a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol pashinyan on the sidelines of the session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council in Minsk.
He said Russia is Armenia’s main foreign trade partner and the investor in the Armenian economy. “According to the results of January-April of the current year, the mutual trade turnover increased by 30%, exceeding $ 890 million. I think there is still room for growth. The volume of Russian capital in the Armenian economy is more than $ 2 billion, there are opportunities to grow here as well, it will be important for Russian investors to expand their investments in Armenia,” Mishustin said.
“There are major Russian companies operating in Armenia – oil and gas, transport, digital technologies, other sectors – we hope that the Armenian Government will continue to create favorable conditions for Russian companies. We are interested in expanding bilateral cooperation, launching new productions, promoting joint projects in various fields, first of all in industry, energy, transport, digitalization. These issues are in the focus of our intergovernmental commission,” the Russian Prime Minister said.
He noted that by the relevant decision of the Government, all restrictions on the entry of Armenian citizens to Russia by land have been lifted. “We expect that in the near future the flow of tourists will be restored and will even grow further. In my opinion, this is very important for the populations of Armenia and Russia,” Mishustin said.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, in turn, expressed gratitude for responding quickly to all issues that need a solution “in order to maintain the high pace of our trade and economic relations.”
“I would especially like to emphasize the decisions you have made regarding the Upper Lars checkpoint. You know that, unfortunately, it is still the only land route that connects Armenia and Russia. There are concerns about the current economic conjuncture, with some problems arising in connection with the increase of land economic flows; the decisions you have already made and which we have already agreed on are very important. We are also talking about this with our Georgian partners so that the trade turnover between Russia and Armenia does not face artificial restrictions,” PM Pashinyan said.
“In this context, the opening of regional infrastructure, the unblocking of the whole region is very important. I would like to thank once again Alexey Overchuk and Mher Grigoryan, who are working very intensively with the Co-chair of the Republic of Azerbaijan on these issues. I hope that the work done will result in concrete decisions, as you know that the opening of economic and transport infrastructure in the region is important for all countries in the region. In the current situation, it is of special significance,” he added.
The Armenian Prime Minister also noted that the agenda of the Eurasian Economic Union is also very important for us. “Both Armenia and Russia are interested in making the Eurasian Economic Union a more effective format. Of course, we are pleased with how this mechanism works, but there is always room for improvement,” he said.