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Seda Ghukasyan

Armenian Opposition MP on Ukraine War: "Russia had no alternative"

Vahe Hakobyan, who chairs the Armenian National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Economic Affairs, voiced concerns that the conflict in Ukraine poses real risks to Armenia’s economy and financial sector.

"According to some data, 6,000 Russians a day, as well as Ukrainian citizens, come to Armenia and bring rubles and try to exchange them. We must do everything possible to prevent currency outflows. As far as I know, the Ministry of Economy is working on a resolution that any foreign investor must keep that amount for at least six months after opening an account with a bank," Hakobyan said today at a press briefing.

He said that Armenia imports most of its grain from Russia and is vulnerable is Mscow imposes a grain export ban in response to western financial sanctions.

Hakobyan described a recent call made by Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan that people owning 3,000 hectares of land should sow wheat as “amateurish”.

When asked if the Pashinyan government’s “neutral” position on the war raging in Ukraine is acceptable, Hakobyan, a member of the opposition Hayastan faction, called for continued caution.

He said that while the people of Ukraine are suffering, it was the short-sighted policy of the Ukrainian authorities that led to this situation and that Russia had no alternative.

“We have not forgotten the position of the Ukrainian leadership when the war ended with the victory of Azerbaijan. Zelensky congratulated Aliyev and helped in every way during the war. Our position must distinguish between the people and the government of Ukraine," Hakobyan said.

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