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Media: Armenian exports to Russia rise despite political tensions

by Kateryna Hodunova March 28, 2024 11:46 PM 2 min read
A general view from the city center on Feb. 3, 2022, in Yerevan, Armenia. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Bilateral trade between Russia and Armenia has flourished since 2022, prompting suspicions that the Caucasian country helps Moscow avoid sanctions, Euroactiv reported on March 28.

Russian-Armenian political relations have deteriorated recently as Russian "peacekeepers" did not prevent Azerbaijan's offensive into the Nagorno-Karabakh region, primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, in September 2023.

Despite the increasingly strained ties between Armenia and Russia, trade between the states has grown more active, as Armenia's exports to Russia tripled in 2022 and almost doubled in 2023, according to Euroactiv.

In 2023, Armenia's trade with Russia accounted for over 35% of the country's foreign trade, compared with the EU's 13% share.

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"The Armenian economy's high dependency on its trade with Russia has made it practically impossible for the country to join the sanctions against Moscow without risking unprecedented economic downfall," Euroactiv said.

According to the media outlet, the increase in Armenia's exports to Russia is mainly related to the re-exporting of products from third countries, including various technical equipment, diamonds, and gold.

Seda Hergnyan, the Hetq.am investigative platform journalist, told Euroactiv that the products being re-exported are not currently under sanctions, or "at least not yet."

If the West decides to consider the re-exports to Russia as sanctions circumvention, all Armenian exports could be at risk, Hergnyan said, adding that the re-export process is still transparent and being openly documented by Armenia's public statistics service as of now.

Multiple sources confirmed for Euractiv that the increased export figures could indicate Armenia is helping Russia circumvent the sanctions.

Armenia threatens to leave Russian-led CSTO
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