RA-RF-Georgia Trilateral Negotiations Are Quite a Successful Precedent
A few days ago, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan issued a statement according to which the tariffs for Yerevan-Moscow cargo transportation and in the opposite direction, through the territories of Georgia and the Russian Federation, have changed since the January of this year. In particular, the tariffs for rail and ferry transportation decreased by 52-54% in the direction of Yerevan-Moscow, and by 32-35% in the opposite direction.
It should be noted that such an improvement in mutual trade relations, taking into account the volume of trade turnover between Armenia and the Russian Federation (in 2016 it amounted to 1.187 billion dollars), as well as the well-known truth that Russia is the leading trading partner for us, has a great importance for Armenia. In addition to this seemingly trivial circumstance, I would like to draw attention to two more subtleties. First, as the Prime Minister noted in his statement, the decision to reduce tariffs was taken as a result of trilateral negotiations between Armenia, Georgia and Russia. This is a fairly good precedent for other negotiations in this format, in particular, for the technical and economic fundamentals of the Russia-Georgia-Armenia-Iran energy corridor, in which the tripartite tandem of the Russia-Georgia-Armenia is quite significant. In addition, the establishment of cooperation can be designed for other possible programs.
On the other hand, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that the reduction of tariffs for cargo transportation with Russia is supplemented by trade preferences on the borders of the EAEU. i.e. this cooperation reduces the obstacles connected with the absence of Armenia’s land borders with the EAEU.
If we turn to applied estimates of the agreement reached, then the study of statistical “reflections” will be the most logical one.
Thus, the RA-RF trade turnover in January-February 2017 amounted to 233.7 million dollars. Compared with the same indicator for the year of 2016, the indicator grew by about 23%. Meanwhile, it is interesting enough that, in turn, the increase in exports compared to imports from Russia to Armenia (by 15% compared to last year’s figure) was exported from Armenia to the Russian Federation (by 53% for that same period). It should be recalled that tariffs for cargo transportation from Armenia to Russia decreased by 52-54%, and from Russia to Armenia, by 32-35%.