YEREVAN, April 4. / ARKA /. Bagrat Asatryan, a former governor of Armenia’s Central Bank, argued today that the Armenian economy may decline by 1-3% this year.
He told a press conference that the economic situation is obviously worsening, largely due to the situation in the Russian Federation, whose economy last year rose by only 1.5%, while the forecasts for the current year are even less encouraging as oil prices are expected to fall and the West is expected to slap more sanctions against Moscow.
“Naturally, this can not fail to affect the economy of Armenia, which is highly dependent on Russia,” said Asatryan.
He said there is another factor that is going to have a negative impact on the Armenian economy. It is a new Russian draft law designed to simplify the process of awarding Russian citizenship to foreigners, speaking Russian.
Asatryan said the bill if passed would shorten the time of consideration of applications for Russian citizenship to three months. When the bill goes through, it will have devastating impact on Armenian demographic situation prompting another mass exodus of Armenian citizens to Russia, Asatryan claimed.
He added that the decline in copper prices at international markets would also contribute to worsening economic situation in Armenia.
The government expects the GDP this year to grow by 5.2%. -0-