YEREVAN—Armenia will try to increase its volume of exports to Russia in light of Moscow’s new ban on food imports from the west, Armenia’s Economy Minister Karen Chshmaritian said Thursday at a news conference, Arka news agency reports.
He added, however, that the Ministry finds it premature to assess the extent of the advantage that Russia’s trade restrictions will produce for Armenia.
Chshmaritian said that Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian held a special session and instructed the economy and agriculture ministries to provide support to entrepreneurs for increasing their exports to Russia.
The Russian government banned fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy imports from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway last week, RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.org) reports. Russia thus retaliated against the countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow for its support of rebels in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. The ban took effect on August 7 and will last for one year.
Armenian Agriculture Minister Sergo Karapetian said the Russian move opened up new opportunities for Armenian farmers and food-processing companies. “That is an additional opportunity for us which we must use very quickly and occupy that [greater share in the Russian] market,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.
“It’s an unlimited market for us … I think we can double export volumes by the end of this year,” the minister added, listing fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, canned food and soft drinks.