Putin Overstates Economic Growth in Armenia

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a press conference after meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian at the Kremlin in Moscow on August 10, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a press conference after meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian at the Kremlin in Moscow on August 10, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a press conference after meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian at the Kremlin in Moscow on August 10, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—The head of Armenia’s National Statistical Service seemed mystified on Thursday by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that the Armenian economy grew by 10 percent last year thanks to becoming part of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Putin cited the growth rate contradicting official Armenian statistics during and after his talks with President Serzh Sarkisian held in Moscow on Wednesday.

“The republic has already felt benefits of its membership in the union,” he told a joint news conference with Sarkisian. “In 2015, like I said at the start of our meeting, Armenia registered a more than 10 percent growth of its GDP.”

In his opening remarks at the talks, Putin attributed that growth figure to unspecified official “documents.”

“I hope that this positive dynamic will remain,” he told the Armenian leader.

According to the National Statistical Service, Armenia’s GDP increased, in real terms, by only 3 percent in 2015.

The head of the government agency, Stepan Mnatsakanian, was therefore at a loss to explain the much faster growth claimed by Putin. “I can’t tell,” Mnatsakanian told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting in Yerevan.

“Ask them,” he said, referring all inquiries to the Russian government.

“Maybe someone did some calculations for the first quarter [of 2016],” the National Statistical Service chief added vaguely when pressed about Putin’s claims.

The National Statistical Service reported earlier that economic growth in Armenia accelerated to 4.4 percent in January-March 2016.

Its latest macroeconomic data also shows that Armenian exports to Russia nearly doubled in the first half of this year after plummeting by 27 percent in 2015.

Sarkisian emphasized this sharp increase in his opening remarks at the meeting with Putin. He said Armenia’s accession to the EEU is one of the main factors behind it.

Alcoholic beverages, prepared foodstuffs and fresh agricultural products account for the bulk of Armenian exports to Russia. Putin on Wednesday hailed their increased shipments to the Russian market, which solidified Russia’s status as Armenia’s number one trading partner.

Authors

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.

3 Comments

  1. State of Emergency said:

    He knows it doesn’t take much to pull the wool over the eyes of naive Armenians.

  2. Jack said:

    Slowly but surely Russia neutralize Armenia defense capability. Soon on Russia itself will only be able to provide security to Armenia. Then Russia will dictate and orchestrate final distraction of the Armenian nation by forcing Armenia to accept Azerbaijani settlers. If not bloody grnocide, it’s complete distraction of what’s left of Armenian homeland. Remember this moment. This is what you did when last chance was lost to prevent the end. We are going to become like Assirians. Nation without country. Thanks to Russia, “ally”.

  3. Ari said:

    Turk loving Putin and his gang are as evil as the Bolshoviks that helped Attaturk to complete the destruction of Western Armenia and partitioned the remainder of the country between Stalin’s Georgia and murderous Azeris. Poor Russians that have to endure Putin’s regime.

*

Top