Tuesday, April 9 2024 12:29
Alexandr Avanesov

Armenia`s economy to face crisis if Moscow severs economic ties with  Yerevan - ex-premier 

Armenia`s economy to face crisis if Moscow severs economic ties with  Yerevan - ex-premier 

ArmInfo.During the reign of the current government, Armenia's dependence on Russia increased from  25% to 45%, stated Armenia's former premier Hrant Bagratyan, commenting on the results of the meeting in Brussels in the EU-Armenia-US format.

In this regard, Bagratyan expressed surprise at the statement of  Security Council Secretary Armen Grigoryan that Yerevan sets itself  the task of diversifying its foreign policy, including in the field  of security and economics. "After all, it was you who increased this  dependence. Until 2018 (before the change of power in the country -  Ed.), the share of Armenia's trade with Russia was 25%, with the  countries of the European Union - 12%, and today Russia's share has  increased to 45%, and the EU, on the contrary, has decreased to 5-6%.  From the European Union in 2024 alone we will receive 67.5 million  euros (the promised 270 million divided over 4 years - Ed.), another  $65 million from the United States and $7 million for the Armenians  of Artsakh . In other words, only $140 million. But why do you blame  the Russians? In 2024, the influx of funds from Russia will be $14  billion, including $1 billion in fuel subsidies.) What the West gave  is 1% of what came and comes from Russia. And if Moscow breaks ties  with Yerevan, nothing will happen to Russia itself, since this  influence on it will be only 1%, but the economy of Armenia will  collapse. In practice, it will be about 45% of the entire economy of  the Republic of Armenia will collapse, and the unemployment rate will  jump from the current 14.5% to 50%," the former prime minister  emphasized.

He pointed out the obvious intentions of Brussels and Washington to  "tear off" Armenia from Russia.  Armenia, according to Bagratyan, if  the current policy continues, is doomed to become the most anti-  Russian state, even more anti-Russian than Georgia or Azerbaijan.  "When the Secretary of the RA Security Council talks about  diversifying areas of cooperation, I just want to ask: my dear, look  at the map and explain how you intend to do this. Stop lying,  organizing a show in Brussels," Bagratyan said, adding that the only  The route to Europe could be a plane loaded with processed diamonds.  Unlike Europe, the former prime minister continued, Armenia's  logistics capabilities are established with Russia and Iran. The main  direction towards the EU is the territory of Turkey, which has been  closed for many years. "Of course, if the Europeans and Americans  want to help, let them help, but is half a billion dollars really the  kind of help that our country needs, and even for several years, when  the republic receives up to $14 billion from Russia in one year," -  asked the former prime minister.

He also recalled the 2.6 billion euros promised by the EU, of which  only 550 million were received.  "Forget about it, they won't give  money, they promised to provide money for the construction of the  southern section of the North-South highway towards Iran, and the  tender for construction It hasn't failed for three years now," the  ex-premier emphasized, calling on the authorities to pay more  attention to cooperation with Russia and Iran.

Bagratyan suggested the possibility of European investment in the  Armenian economy in the amount of $1 billion. "The only question that  arises is: what will we produce, and, most importantly, who will we  sell to?  Russia or Iran? They don't even buy our cognac, all that  remains is for them to invest in our agriculture," Bagratyan  continued.

He noted that the West insists that Armenia, like Ukraine, become the  most anti-Russian bastion, which will ultimately lead to the  country's territory being limited to Yerevan. By giving money to  Yerevan, the West will insist on ending ties with Iran and Russia.  Pashinyan will be forced to make anti-Russian statements or sign  relevant documents, including the termination of trade turnover with  the Russian Federation in rubles. The first step in this direction  has already been taken: servicing bank cards of the MIR system has  been stopped. "And all this thanks to Pashinyan and the Chairman of  the Central Bank," stated Bagratyan.

He predicted that the Russian side, despite the harsh reaction, will  so far refrain from taking serious steps against Armenia, although  Moscow may not react at all. "Beware of Russia's silence and its  hostility. This will not lead to anything good," concluded the former  head of government, pointing out the wait-and-see position of  Azerbaijan and Turkey against this background, who are only waiting  for the moment to achieve their ambitious goals.

On April 5, at a joint briefing with RA Prime Minister Nikol  Pashinyan and US Secretary of State Antony Blinen, the head of the  European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced the EU's readiness  to provide Armenia with 270 million euros in grant funds for economic  development, in particular, to support the small and medium-sized  businesses, as well as infrastructure development. US Secretary of  State Antony Blinken recalled Washington's plans to provide Armenia  with more than $65 million in assistance from budget funds for the  2023 fiscal year. Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European  Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who took part in the  briefing, noted that Armenia is increasingly becoming a target for  information manipulations and attempts at external interference  coming from abroad.  He noted that part of the EU's obligations is to  support the Republic of Armenia "to cope with this information and  help people understand what is happening correctly, by strengthening  media literacy."

The Russian Foreign Ministry responded to the high-level meeting in  the Armenia-US-EU format already in the evening of the same day. "We  consider the high-level meeting in the Armenia-US-EU format held in  Brussels on April 5, 2024 as another attempt by the "collective West"  to drag the South Caucasus into a geopolitical confrontation.  Obviously, the West wants to turn Armenia into an instrument for  implementing its extremely dangerous plans in the South Caucasus,"  the statement said.  

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