Putin Wants Armenia to Ensure Favorable Environment for Russian Businesses

ST. PETERSBURG (RFE/RL)–Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called on the Armenian government to ensure that Russian companies operate in Armenia in no less “comfortable” conditions than other foreign investors.

Putin made the statement as he met with his visiting Armenian counterpart, Tigran Sarkisian, in Saint Petersburg late on Wednesday. Sarkisian’s office said the talks focused on “a wide range of issues” related to economic ties between the two countries.

“We expect that with your and the Armenian president’s help, our business will feel comfortable [in Armenia,] — at least no worse than your other partners,” Putin said in his opening remarks posted on his website. “We hope that with joint efforts, we will manage to reach new levels.”

Sarkisian assured him that a favorable environment for Russian business is of “paramount significance” to Yerevan. He said in that context that the Armenian government plans to set up a “free economic zone” at a Russian-owned electronics plant in Yerevan.

“We hope that this project will create a platform for Russian business in Armenia,” added Sarkisian.

Sarkisian’s cabinet approved a package of relevant draft amendments to several Armenian laws at its weekly session on Thursday.

With few details of the Saint Petersburg talks made public by the Russian and Armenian governments, it is not clear whether Putin had any concerns about Russian economic presence in the South Caucasus state. The powerful Russian premier thanked President Serzh Sarkisian for creating “necessary conditions” for Russian firms doing business in Armenia when they met in Moscow as recently as on November 17.

Both then and on Wednesday, Putin emphasized the fact that Russia allocated a $500 million anti-crisis loan to Armenia last year and remains the country’s leading foreign investor. “None of our companies left the Armenian economy [during the 2009 recession,]” he told Prime Minister Sarkisian.

“All in all, I think there are thousands of companies with Russian capital functioning in the Armenian economy,” Putin stressed. The biggest of them, notably Gazprom and AFK Sistema, dominate Armenia’s energy and telecommunication sectors.

In his opening exchange with Putin, Sarkisian made no mention of Gazprom’s plans to raise the price of Russian natural gas for Armenia further next year. A statement on the meeting issued by the Armenian government did not specify whether the issue was on the agenda.

Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisian said on Tuesday that the Armenian government still hopes to avert the price hike.

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2 Comments

  1. Norin Radd said:

    Russia has been a “good” ally, we cannot say “great” but as a powerful neighbor state, it has been a good ally. Though Prime Minister Putin is simply trying to put in his potent two cents on the matter, President Sargisyan and his Cabinet should also remind Prime Minister Putin that while Russian businesses have remained steadfast in the Armenian economy, Armenia has remained steadfast as an ally and regional neighbor since the disbandment of the USSR.

    In fact, Armenia can easily and confidently say that of ALL the former Soviet states, in a post Soviet era in which Russia finds itself increasingly more and more isolated due to NATOs relentless “conversion” stampede, Armenia has been the ONLY nation to not buy into NATOs grandiose promises by running for greener pastures toward the US and the EU.

    Let’s look at just the local track record of other countries. Georgia? In 2008-2009 they pulled the whole South Ossetia/Abcasia fiasco and waged war on Russia in a vain attempt to re-anex segregated areas of heavily Russian populated regions not too mention pandering to the US thinking they would become the next Israel/satelite state.

    Azerbaijan? These goat herders have found oil offshore within their borders and are already dropping their pants to the West and attempting to set up gas/oil pipelines in cooperation with their inbred “brothers” the Turks in order to compete with the Russian Gazprom network for delivery of said fuels to the West, namely to the EU. They are constantly pandering to US/EU interests through Turkey and are even ready to serve as military hosts in setting up further US “defense” artillery pointed at Moscow. The Azeri/Turkey/EU love triangle will last long enough for the Azeris to get milked of their last drop of oil, then they will be dropped on their heads.

    Ukraine? Belarus? The Russians have had their share of problems with these states as well in recent past due to more pandering to the West. Tajikestan, Khazakstan, Turkmenistan? Not so stable or reliable partners either.

    Which leaves little old Armenia, the little engine that could so to speak, while small and without natural resources, it has presented Russia with one commodity over and over again, LOYALTY and an extension of a good deal of neighborly TRUST. These are two commodities that are more and more scarce these days among nations, especially for a Russia in a world of ever increasing isolation.

    So in short, Russia has been “good to Armenia”, but let us also remember that Armenia have also been “good to Russia” in our own way because we Armenians value loyalty and trust. Prime Minister Putin should remember this and should also nurture it with further support and strengthening of Russia’s “little neighbor” because as Israel has proven, even “little states” can carry a big bite these days with proper support from a “big brother”.

    • Arn. Sweden. said:

      YES – !!!.

      Russia has been “good to Armenia”, but let us also remember that Armenia have also been “good to Russia” in our own way because we Armenians value loyalty and trust
      Prime Minister Putin should remember this and should also nurture it with further support and strengthening of Russia’s “little neighbor” because as Israel has proven, even “little states” can carry a big bite these days with proper support from a “big brother”.

      WHEN GOD RISES ARMENIA UP – IN HIS RESURECTIONAL POWER IN JESUS CHRIST – DO NOT FORGET BY WHOM YOU VICTORY WAS GIVEN – AND HONOR HIM – SO THAT YOU DONT BECOME AS THE SELFDECEIVED PSYCHOPATICAL TURKS – BRAGING ABOUT THEIR VICTORIES – IN THEIR EGOISTIC VIOLANCE – WORSHIPPING THEIR EVIL DEMIGOD – FORCE – POWER AND MIGHT,
      TO WHICH RUSSIA TO SOME EXTENT ALSO HAS FALLEN.

      BECAUSE WHEN THAT BECOMES A GOAL AND END IN ITSELF – IT ONLY SERVES THE EVIL ONE.

      RUSSIA AND HER PEOPLE LEARNED BY PAIN AND SUFFERING – THE HARD WAY – ABOUT THIS MONGOL SPIRIT – THAT GIVING IN WAS NO OPTION – BUT IT TOOK RUSSIA SOME 150 YEARS OF STRUGGLE –
      TO GET RID OF THE MONGOL YOKE – AND SINCE THEN RUSSIA HAS EVER EXPANDED.

      THE RUSSIANS WAS TO SOME EXTENT NEEDED TO BECOME/BEHAVE AS THE MONGOLS – IN ORDER TO DEFEAT THEM – WHICH HISTORY HAS SHOWN – SO THE RUSSIANS WILL NEVER GIVE IN – THAT WILL NEVER BECOME AN OPTION FOR THEM.

      TO TAKE THIS WARRIOR BURDEN UPON ONESELF IS WERY HARD TO BEAR – BUT TO GIVE IN IS STILL WORSE.

      SO ARMENIA – RESOLVE UPON BATTLE – SLAYED YOU WILL WIN HEAVEN – VICTORIOUS YOU SHALL INHERIT YOUR EARTHLY KINGDOM.

      BLESST BE YOU BY GOD THIS WAY !!!.

      Arn.

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