Russia-Armenia trade up 63% in 2007

January, 2008

Trade between Russia and Armenia grew by an estimated 63% year-on-year in 2007, the Russian transportation minister said on Monday. Igor Levitin who co-chairs the Russian-Armenian intergovernmental commission, participated in the opening of a business forum earlier in the day in Yerevan, organized by both countries. "According to our figures, bilateral commodity trade is growing by an annual rate of more than 50%," Levitin said, adding that in 2006 the figure had risen by 70%. Levitin said Russia invested a total of $1 billion in Armenia's economy from 1991 to 2007, with most of the funds going to the banking sector, communications, information technology, transport, chemicals and mining. The minister said Russia's investment in the ex-Soviet state's economy was set to double in the next few years. Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisyan who represents Armenia on the intergovernmental commission, said Russia's investment accounted for a third of total accrued investment in the Armenian economy. However, opposition leader Artur Bagdasaryan, presenting his campaign program for the upcoming presidential election, said he saw Armenia's political future in joining the European Union. "I see Armenia's future within the EU. This means that our foreign policy should prioritize profound reforms in the country so that one day Armenia can become a full-fledged EU member," the leader of the opposition party Orinats Yerkir (Rule of Law) said.


Russia's Gazprombank buys Armenia's Areximbank

Russia's Gazprombank has bought 80.09 pct of one of Armenia's largest retail banks, Areximbank, and is in negotiations with Austria's Raiffeisen International to buy the rest, Gazprombank vice-president Olga Kazanskaya said toady. Details of the deal were not disclosed. The bank will be renamed Gazprombank of Armenia by the end of the year, Kazanskaya said at a press conference. She said Gazprombank, controlled by Russian gas giant Gazprom, would be seeking to finance energy projects in Armenia with ArmRosGazprom, a joint Russian-Armenian company that controls natural gas pipelines feeding Russian gas to Armenia.



Gazprombank has acquired 80.09 percent of shares of the Armenian Areximbank, bank press services said. The decision to buy shares in Areximbank was conditioned by higher trade turnover between the two countries, increased investment by Russian companies into the Armenian economy and some other factors. Proceeding from the interests of the chief buyer, Gazprom, Gazprombank had expressed an intention to buy a bank in Armenia back in September. Armenian-Russian Export-Import Bank (Areximbank) was established in 1998 with the aim to support entrepreneurship between Armenia and Russia. In August, 2005 Moscow Impxbank purchased 19.91 percent of shares of Areximbank. The total capital of the bank as of September, 2007 amounts 3 404 027 thousand drams with 17 441 441 thousand drams in debits and 14 037 414 thousand drams in credits.



Today RA Prime Minister, Co-Chair of the Armenian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation Serzh Sarkissian had a meeting with the Co-Chair of the Commission, Russian Minister of Transport Igor Levitin. During the meeting the parties discussed a broad circle of questions related to the further development of economic cooperation. At the end of the meeting Serzh Sarkissian and Igor Levitin signed a Protocol on the meeting of the Co-Chairs of the Armenian-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation. Later Serzh Sarkissian and Igor Levitin participated in the sitting of the Armenian-Russian Commission on Economic Cooperation. “In 2007 Russian investments in Armenia exceed one milliard USD. They form one third of foreign investments. There are 852 Russian enterprises in Armenia. I assure you that the figures are serious for a country like Armenia,” The Armenian Premier said.



Ara Abrahamyan, the president of Russian Armenians Union offered to create Armenian-Russian business council which members of government and businessmen could join to. The council should establish its office both in Armenia and Moscow and it should inform both sides about the investment conditions, projects and their preliminary stage too. According to Abrahamyan the council could contribute to the development of small and big business in the country and create new jobs. He also mentioned that it is important to found conditions for the capital investments in both countries. Abrahamyan said that the participation of Armenian Diaspora in the project could be of great importance. The Minister of Trade and Economic Development N. Eritsyan said that if they manage to create strengthened business communication, then Armenian economy will be penetrated by huge investment programs.


Russian gas exports to Armenia up 20 percent

Armenia imported 2.054 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2007, reports the news agency Regnum, up 19.7 percent over 2006. Gas company ArmRosGazprom reported that domestic consumption was up 17.9 percent to 1.9 billion cubic meters. Last year, homes fired up 532 million cubic meters of gas, nearly a third more than they did in 2006. Industry accounted for another 406 million cubic meters, a 17.5 percent increase in its use. ArmRosGazprom, which Russia’s Gazprom holds a controlling stake in, is the sole provider of natural gas for Armenia.


Tehran-Yerevan-Moscow axis formation vital

“Formation of Ankara-Baku-Tbilisi geopolitical axis has already become obvious,” RA National Assembly Vice Speaker, presidential hopeful Vahan Hovhannisian said in an interview with Military Diplomat magazine. “In this aspect, formation of Tehran-Yerevan-Moscow axis will be not only a counterbalance but a vital necessity for Armenia,” he said. “Turkey, Azerbaijan and Baku are aspired for the role of regional hegemon. In absence of retaliatory measures, their activity can transform into a cynical “blocking of oxygen” against those who don’t support them. I think that frequent meetings of the Russian, Armenian and Iranian leaders will produce effect and promote implementation of joint projects,” Mr Hovhannisian said.


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Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This realization compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult as I had no assistance in this endeavor. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside me urged me to keep going; and I did.

When Armenia finally joined the EEU and integrated its armed forces into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago, I finally felt a deep sense of satisfaction and relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back, as I really needed the rest. Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal. Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say something if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however continue moderating the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what my readers have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments.

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