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 Saturday, March 2 2024 14:38
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Armenia reduces military-technological cooperation with Russia to  less than 10% - Armen Grigoryan 

Armenia reduces military-technological cooperation with Russia to  less than 10% - Armen Grigoryan 

ArmInfo. Armenia came to realize the need to diversify its security after the events in 2021,  Armenian Security Council Secretary Armen Grigoryan told the RA Public TV. 

"We have been trying to purchase weapons from Russia since 2021,  signed contracts, developed with the Russian side a concept for  comprehensive army reform in order to jointly implement these  reforms. But instead, attacks were carried out on Armenia in May and  November, Russia did not supply us with the necessary weapons,  moreover, purchased by us, and we began to look for new partners. And  among the already known partners are India, France, and a number of  other European countries," Grigoryan noted.

At the same time, the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia  drew attention to the fact that back in 2020, all military-technical  cooperation of Armenia was with Russia.

"From January 2021 to the present, we have concluded contracts worth  several billion dollars with different countries, but Russia's share  among them is less than 10%. That is, from 96%, military-technical  cooperation has fallen to less than 10%. This happened for objective  reasons. "It was Russia's choice. At the same time, the war around  Ukraine and the associated lack of supplies are often mentioned, but  these contracts were signed at the beginning of 2021, a year before  the famous events," the Armenian official said, adding that Armenia  is diversifying not only the defense sector , but also the economy.

In this vein, he boasted that over the 9 months of 2023, the leading  investor in Armenia was the United Arab Emirates with approximately  $250 million, while Russia was only in third place with less than $50  million, losing second place to Luxembourg.

"That is, the processes taking place today are Russia's choice. It  decided not to invest in Armenia. Or we can say that Armenia opened  up to the world, great opportunities were created. Trade turnover  with the UAE last year reached $2.8 billion, an increase of  approximately 350% compared to the previous year. This is also an  important one aimed at diversification," Grigoryan said.

To the remark that exports from Armenia are not diversifying, but on  the contrary, export volumes to Russia have increased, Grigoryan  agreed that this is true, however, according to him, work is being  done to find new markets.

"We are working with the EU to bring our economy into line with such  regulations so that our products become competitive in the European  market and meet EU standards, but we are also looking for other  markets," said the Secretary of the Armenian Security Council.

He also assured that Armenia is now actively working to find an  alternative to Russian gas, fuel, and other components on which the  country is heavily dependent.

When the presenter clarified how the Russian side explained the  refusal to supply weapons to Armenia, Grigoryan noted that Russia  argued that "Yerevan's position on a number of issues will become  tougher, and the republic will resist on issues that run counter to  its interests."

In response to the remark that Armenia rejects all Russian proposals,  while moving to the West, and rejected the CSTO proposal to place a  mission in Armenia, Grigoryan asked a counter question: "Where would  the CSTO mission come?"

In response to the presenter's answer that they were going to the  same place as the EU observers, the Secretary of the Security Council  of Armenia emphasized that the problem is that the CSTO does not  recognize the internationally recognized borders of Armenia, this is  the key difference between Russia and the EU.

"We are negotiating with all partners who accept the Alma-Ata  Declaration as the basis for concretizing the internationally  recognized borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan, mutual recognition  of territorial integrity and protection of Armenian sovereignty," he  said.

To the remark that even if Russia is not a good partner, according to  some estimates, the authorities are causing Russia's hostility  through their actions, which can be very dangerous, the Security  Council Secretary replied that Armenia is not taking any such steps.

"We are just looking for alternatives. In Russia, sometimes they  indirectly and publicly say - we can't, we are busy, we don't have  time to deal with all directions. Armenia is trying to ensure its  security, what kind of hostility is there? We are just looking for an  alternative for ourselves," Grigoryan noted.

According to the RA Statistics Committee, Russia continues to hold  the leadership in foreign trade turnover in general, and in exports  and imports in particular. In particular, the foreign trade turnover  between Russia and Armenia at the end of 2023 exceeded $7.3 billion,  with a slowdown in annual growth from 91.7% to 43.3%, due to a strong  slowdown in export growth. Thus, the export of goods from Armenia to  Russia significantly slowed down the annual growth from 2.9 times to  38.8%, with a slight acceleration in the increasing rate of import of  goods from Russia to Armenia from 46.9% to 47.4%, ensuring volumes of  respectively level of $3.4 billion and $3.9 billion. In the foreign  trade turnover of Armenia, the share of Russia decreased slightly  year-on-year - from 35.9% to 35.3%, against the background of a  decline in the share in exports from 45.4% to 40.6% with an increase  in the share in imports from 30% to 31.6%.

The UAE moved to 2nd position (from 4th a year earlier) in terms of  foreign trade turnover with Armenia, securing the same position in  exports, thereby displacing China, which previously traditionally  occupied this place, to third position. Thus, the foreign trade  turnover between Armenia and the UAE reached $2.3 billion (with a  slight slowdown in annual growth from 5.3 times to 3.9 times), due to  the continued growth in exports, with a slight slowdown in rates from  7.2 times to 4.2 times, with a continuing slowdown in import growth  from 58.4% to 24.6%, the absolute value of which amounted to $2.2  billion and $73.5 million, respectively. The UAE's share in Armenia's  foreign trade turnover increased in 2023 from 4.2% to 11.1%, due to a  jump in the share in exports from 9.9% to 26.4% while reducing the  already low share in imports from 0.7% to 0.6%.  

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