by Nana Martirosyan
It is not clear so far how much Armenia's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union will affect the country's regional economy [commodity turnover with Iran and Georgia], Robert Kocharyan, the second president of Armenia, says in an interview with Noyan Tapan.
Assessing the current economic situation in the country, Robert Kocharyan said that there are neither internal nor external reasons for optimistic assessment so far. "In addition, new global threats have emerged, and their effects are yet to be assessed. How will the West's sanctions against Russia affect the global economy, Russia's economy? Will they increase sanctions? It is not clear so far how much Armenia's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union will affect the country's regional economy [commodity turnover with Iran and Georgia]. And finally, is the single customs area technologically possible amid the West's sanctions against Russia. There are either no answers to these questions, or there are just suppositions. This means that we have entered a phase of negative anticipations," the politician said.
Kocharyan thinks that economic growth and job creation is what the government must focus on to recover the country's economy, meanwhile, they just seek to replenish the budget at any cost.
"There is need for a healthy competitive business environment, which is impossible unless the economic is de-monopolized despite the appetites of the influential statesmen and their relatives. It is necessary to give a clear signal to the public that any business initiative is welcome and will be supported, no matter whose interests it will touch. To this end, it is necessary to create effective market mechanisms. They should put aside their personal interests at least for a few years, if forget them at all. Any regime able to do that is simply doomed to success. By the way, they must stop breaking the working weeks with numerous religious holidays. It is necessary to return to the former clock zone. It is not normal to start the working day at 9:00am in August, when it sunrise is at 6:00am and sunset - at 8:00pm. It is a forced slowdown, not acceleration," he said.