After the cabinet meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan, referring to the impact of US sanctions against Russia on Armenia’s economy, assured that Armenia is trying to strengthen its economic ties with other countries beyond Russia: “It is evident that when negative things happen in Russia’s economic sphere, it affects all the neighbours. The classic example of this is that when there was a crisis in Russia, it affected both the EAEU member Armenia, non-member Azerbaijan, and Georgia heading to the European Union”.
According to Kocharyan, the states which are linked in various ways with Russia, sanctions are naturally affecting the labour force, remittances, sales of goods, and economic relations.
The Deputy Minister also assured that some policy is being taken to mitigate the impact of sanctions on Armenia: “Our overall foreign economic policy is as follows: to deepen existing economic ties and create new economic ties, new relations. There are already targeted countries, a list was submitted, where first 14 countries are initial, the list is not complete. Serious work is being done for this”. According to the Deputy Minister, the matter concerns relations with the third countries, that is countries beyond the EAEU.
As to the question about leaving the EAEU raised by one of the “Yelq” deputies, the Deputy Minister said, that the economic component is important for Armenia, which is also the basis of our national security and many other issues: “The more powerful our economy is, the more secure we will be, the more confident we will be from the point of view of national security. Therefore, we should have economic relations with anyone who are in our interests. The goal is to strengthen what we have and to create new economic relations”.
In response to the remark, that there are experts who think that under conditions of the American and Russian confrontation Armenia has to make a choice between one or the other, the Deputy Minister said, “Let me remind the situation when the United States and Iran were in a deep confrontation, there were even some notions that military action could begin. We did not make any choices at that time either”.