On May 21, 2015, an agreement was signed in Moscow between the governments of Armenia and Russia that laid the groundwork for Russian technical and financial assistance to Armenia in the context of Armenia’s entry in the Eurasian Economic Union.
So, what assistance has actually reached Armenia in the past eight months?
To get some answers, Hetq contacted Armenia’s Ministry of Finance, asking what grants have been allocated to Armenia as part of programs already implemented or in the pipeline.
According to the ministry, the abovementioned agreement stipulates that Russia will finance, in the form of direct grants, various projects (providing equipment, services, etc.) in Armenia to the tune of US$42 million and 130 million rubles ($1.7 million).
The grants will target the following sectors:
- Customs system
- Sanitary, veterinary, and botanical sanitary activities
- Data collection on mutual and foreign trade
- Activities related to the manufacturing sector
- Creation of an integrated information system
$14.1 million of the $42 million was immediately allocated to Armenia’s state budget. The remaining $27.9 million and the 130 million rubles will be allocated to obtain goods, services, equipment and machines.
In addition, it appears that as part of Armenia’s entry in the Eurasia Economic Union, activities will be organized by Russian state agencies to raise the educational and quality levels of representatives in corresponding Armenian state agencies.
Hetq also asked the ministry to specify what Armenian organizations/structures are included in the programs to be funded and the levels of that finding.
Recipients of this Russian largesse are various Armenian ministries (finance, health, agriculture, economy), the National Statistical Service, and the country’s E-Governance Infrastructure Implementation Office.
Armenia Deputy Finance Minister Vakhtang Miroumyan told Hetq that competitive tender bids have been announced in Armenia and Russia to implement activities financed by Russian grants.
“Those funds will be spent by June 2018. Thus, it is too early to provide specific information regarding the funds spent,” Miroumyan said.