Armenia’s main trading partner turns its back on it – horticulture will heavily greatly impacted

Nov 11 2023

EastFruit experts draw attention to a number of sequential events that have a negative impact on Armenia’s ability to export its fruits and vegetables, as well as other types of goods. Moreover, these events surprisingly coincide with the cooling of relations between Armenia and Russia, which the Armenian leadership actively accuses of failure to fulfill obligations on Karabakh.

What kind of events are these? First of all, this is an announcement about unexpected road repairs on Upper Lars, which is the only route for the delivery of goods from Armenia to Russia. Repairing this mountainous road in the winter makes no logical sense and this is why such an announcement is suspicious. The only alternative route goes through Azerbaijan, which means that Armenians will have to spend much more to export via that road, and secondly, this road goes via the country with which, until recently, Armenia was in an active phase of war, meaning that chances of using it are not so high. Here’s another coincidence –  Russi suddenly discovered unspecified “dangerous viruses” in tomatoes supplied from Armenia. Therefore, it is possible that this will be followed by a ban on the supply of products. They never bothered to even specify the types of viruses.

Read also: Georgia imported large volumes of blueberries from Ukraine – what’s wrong with this fact?

According to EastFruit, 94% of all fruit and vegetable exports from Armenia are exported to Russia, with 35% of all export revenue coming from greenhouse tomatoes. In addition to tomatoes, Armenia exports to the Russian market fresh strawberries, sweet peppers, table grapes, apricots, cabbages, culinary herbs, apples, peaches, nectarines, cherries, as well as nuts, primarily hazelnuts. Armenia currently does not have alternative markets for the exports of these goods, except for hazelnuts, which can be supplied to the EU. Naturally, we should expect that Armenia will try to increase exports to the markets of Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova, where its products are not subject to import duties, but these countries are also large exporters, and these markets have completely different price realities. It will be theoretically possible to sell Armenian products to EU countries such as Bulgaria and Romania, but subject to an increase in quality, which can’t be achieved quickly and a significant reduction in prices. Consequently, impact on horticulture of Armenia could be significant.

Let us recall that Armenia recently demonstratively ratified the Rome Statute, which implies, in particular, the obligation to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin in the event of his arrival in Armenia for extradition to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where Putin is held as a suspect, and the ICC has issued a warrant for his arrest.