ArmInfo.Amid the war in Ukraine, the West is seeking to assist Armenia and some other states in diversifying theirs export markets, including supplying products to domestic markets, Avag Harutyunyan, Chairman of the National Wine Center, said in an interview with ArmInfo.
"Perceiving Armenia as part of the Russia-led camp, the West, on the other hand, is perfectly aware of our being forced to be part of this camp. And this factor has caused the West to make many more proposals to our sector now. I can say that we have rather serious and attractive proposals among them. And the situation - preferring the Russian or EU market - will be clear in a couple of months," Mr Harutyunyan said.
Armenian companies have no quality-related problems, and the issue of competitiveness of Armenian wines and cognacs in European markets has been settled. Much more serious production requirements have reduced the number of producers of low-quality beverages to a minimum. So the political component remains.
Mr Harutyunyan believes that a need for diversifying export markets for Armenian alcoholic beverages is, among other things, the currently unstable Russian market. One more factor is the unstable exchange rate of the Russian ruble, and some signs of stabilization are the result of political rather than economic factors.
"The major problem is that no one knows how long the Ukraine situation will last. We have lost the Ukraine market and we are hoping to return to Belarus. No one knows what will happen to the Russian ruble in two or three months, while payments for imported products are effected at least two or three months after delivery. All this amid Russia's yearly demand for over one billion bottles of alcoholic beverages, with half of them being wine," the expert said.