On July 8, 2021, the RA Acting Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan met with Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov in Moscow.
During the meeting the parties discussed the prospects of expanding the economic cooperation between Armenia and Russia. In this context, Maxim Reshetnikov proposed to develop a new program on economic cooperation, which will henceforth coordinate all joint investment programs. Given the fact that the previous program of long-term economic cooperation between the two countries ended in 2020, Minister Reshetnikov stressed the necessity of having a new long-term strategy document.
For design of investment projects, Vahan Kerobyan and Maxim Reshetnikov agreed to establish a joint working group on investment cooperation, which will be headed by Deputy Ministers of both sides.
The partners discussed elimination of barriers to mutual trade between Armenia and Russia. Special attention was paid to the trade barriers related to introduction of additional requirements for wines with regard to the requirements stipulated by the Eurasian Economic Union’s technical regulations in Russia.
The Acting RA Minister Vahan Kerobyan presented to his Russian counterpart the hidden barriers existing in the field of bilateral trade, which hinder the free movement of goods and services. In particular, he noted that small and medium enterprises in Russia still face tax difficulties in trade with Armenia.
During the meeting, Vahan Kerobyan stressed the importance of direct cooperation with the regional governments of the Russian Federation, referring to the agreement signed on July 6 with the Sverdlovsk region authorities on realization of foreign economic relations in the trade and economic sphere.
In his speech, Maxim Reshetnikov stressed the importance of strengthening the interregional cooperation between Russia and Armenia, and suggested to intensify the activities of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation.
Referring to cooperation within the EEU, the parties agreed on the necessity to strengthen the integration processes between the two countries, using the full potential of the EEU. They discussed issues of cooperation in the field of energy, as well as issues on joint sale of products of the mining, chemical, and wine-making industry of the two countries in the EEU territory.
During the meeting, the issue of establishing a joint logistics center was discussed, as well as a number of other issues of mutual interest.
It should be reminded that Russia is the leading trade partner of Armenia, providing for almost 30.3% of Armenia’s foreign trade turnover. Since Armenia’s accession to the EEU in January 2015 and prior to the pandemic, the bilateral trade has doubled increasing from $1.26 billion to $2.51 billion.