YEREVAN, March 3. /ARKA/. Armenian Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan said today that the ban on imports of Turkish goods may be prolonged.
Armenian government’s ban on import of Turkish goods imposed during the recent war in Nagorno-Karabakh, has come into force on January 1, 2021.
On October 21, almost a month after Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey and Middle East mercenaries, attacked Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian government imposed the six-month ban on imports of Turkish goods.
The Armenian government said at that time that the measure was a retaliation to the Turkish authorities’ provocative calls, supply of arms to Azerbaijan and deployment of mercenaries from the Middle East to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, which undermined the stability in the region, including the international efforts to find a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“From an economic point of view, we believe that the ban should be extended if political or other priorities do not interfere with it. If we have already entered this river, then it makes sense to extend the embargo,” Kerobyan said on Wednesday in parliament.
In his words, the Armenian economic entities had sufficient time to reorient themselves to other markets.
“We are ready to defend our local producers as long as it takes so that they can strengthen their positions in the market,” Kerobyan stressed.
At the same time, he noted that the Ministry of Economy is leaning towards an “open economy”, however, in these market conditions, taking into account the decisions already made, the best option is to extend the ban for at least another 6 months.
“We are ready to protect local producers not only by banning Turkish goods, but also by numerous other instruments, for example, by tightening supervision over compliance with the standards of imported goods,” the minister added.
According to government data, Armenia imported $268 million worth of Turkish-manufactured products in 2019 and $178 million worth of Turkish goods in January-October 2020, 15% down year on year. More precisely, $69.4 million worth clothing, $10.3 million worth citrus fruit, $35.2 million worth cars, equipment and mechanisms (electric heaters, refrigerators, etc.), $24.3 million worth oil and oil products, $23.6 million worth chemicals and $21.6 million worth base metals.
There are no diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia: official Ankara closed the border in 1993 out of solidarity with Azerbaijan. Turkey also overreacts to international recognition of the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Empire. -0-