A few days ago Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev and Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan used different numbers to describe the growth of trade turnover between Armenia and Russia during their meeting in Armenia.
Assessing the growth of trade between the countries, Karen Karapetyan said, “Trade turnover between our countries is growing steadily. We have just discussed with Dmitri Anatolevich that trade between our countries has grown by 23.5% during the last 8 months”.
However, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev did not agree with the figure cited by Karen Karapetyan. According to his data, bilateral trade between Armenia and Russia has grown by 30% and not 23.5% during the aforementioned period. “Karen Vilhelmich, dear friends, I have better numbers. In January-August, trade turnover grew by 30%, I suggest using this figure hereinafter”, Medvedev said.
Karapetyan responded that he has doubts about the work of the Armenian National Statistical Service, and agreed to use the figure cited by the Russian side.
Karapetyan’s and Armenian National Statistical Service’s Numbers
The Armenian National Statistical Service is accused of falsifying numbers by many, including economists, politicians, experts, etc. However, the charges are related to exaggeration of numbers. The ridiculous thing is that this time the Prime Minister accuses his subordinate structure in falsifying numbers. Moreover, he accuses them of reducing, rather than increasing them.
In any case, any other institution apart from the Armenian NSS is not authorized and is not able to present reliable numbers (a whole research institute is necessary for such calculations), and the figure cited by Karen Karapetyan corresponds to the data of the RA National Statistical Service.
Thus, according to their data, Armenia-Russia trade in January-August 2017 formed 991.7 million USD. In 2016, it formed 803.2 million USD, and, thus, the growth is 23.5 percent.
Medvedev’s and Russian Statistical Service’s Numbers
It is noteworthy that numbers cited by Medvedev even differ from those the Russian statistical service has published. Thus, according to the Russian statistical service, trade turnover with Armenia formed 973 million USD during January-August 2017, growing by 28.4% compared to the same period in 2016 (758 million USD in 2016). However, according to Russian Prime Minister’s data, the growth formed 30%, and he is so confident in the data he possesses that he urges Karapetyan to use his numbers.
The Eurasian Economic Commission also carries out Armenia-Russia trade turnover statistics.
According to the data of the Eurasian Economic Commission, in January-August 2017, Armenia’s trade turnover with Russia made up 983.8 million USD, and in the same period of 2016 it formed 729 million USD. The growth formed 35%. Thus, the EAEU numbers even exceeded the ones cited by Medvedev.
It results that we can only state with confidence that there was growth in trade turnover between Armenia and Russia during the first eight months of 2017. But the extent of growth remains a question, and makes up 23.5%-35% according to different statistics.