Today RA President Serzh Sargsyan has met the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to the Russian Federation Vardan Toghanyan within the framework of discussions on the economic element of Armenia’s foreign policy. Addressing the prospects of development of economic relations between Armenia and Russia, the President presented some inaccurate data about the current level of bilateral economic relations.
In particular, Sargsyan mentioned in the beginning of his speech that foreign trade turnover registered 15% growth during 2016. However, the data published by the RA Statistical Service show that RA foreign trade turnover growth formed only 7.4% in 2016 compared to the previous year.
In continuation of his speech, the President emphasized that exports to Russia grew by 50% in 2016. Nevertheless, more than 50% growth in exports in a 0.2% economic system is strange, to say the least, especially if we also consider the fact that free trade regime was launched between Armenia and Russia decades before EAEU membership, namely in 1992. In this regard, at the beginning of this year “Union of Informed Citizens” carried out a large-scale study of the commodity structure of exports to Russia, which makes it obvious that the cause of such growth in exports does not consist in expanded economic production. Rather, it is simple re-export of Turkish goods from Armenia to Russia.
In his speech, President Sargsyan also noted, “The Russian Federation is the largest investor in our country. Russian investments in Armenia account for 47% of total investment”. However, RA Statistical Service data again come to show that Russia’s share in net foreign investments in the real sector of economy makes up 39, rather than 47 percent.
It is worth noting that net inflows of total investments from the Russian Federation to Armenia dropped by 11 billion AMD or 87%, and the net inflows of direct investments dropped by 13 billion AMD or 73% during the first quarter of this year.