ArmInfo.The situation at the Upper Lars checkpoint was expected, Gagik Aghajanyan, CEO, Apaven forwarding company, told ArmInfo.
According to him, one should not be surprised by the behavior of the Russian authorities, returning Armenian trucks with cargo under the pretext of violations of phytosanitary standards. The specialist added that what is happening at the checkpoint is the result of the policy of the Armenian authorities. Russia, as Agadzhanyan emphasized, is using old, proven methods that it previously used against products from Turkey, Moldova, Georgia and other countries.
Answering the question that, unlike the above countries, Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the specialist recalled that both Moldova and Georgia were members of the CIS. "Moscow resorts to these actions regardless of what association this or that state is in, in relation to any partner who shows, so to speak, an unfriendly attitude towards it," the company's executive director emphasized.
However, as Agadzhanyan noted, sanctions are not applied to the cargo that the company's trucks deliver to the recipient, since the cargo itself does not fall under phytosanitary standards. "We mainly have cognac and ore. They will not return foil made from imported Russian aluminum. "Everything that is happening today at the border is the result of a deterioration in bilateral relations," said the head of the Apaven company.
On November 27, RA Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan announced that Armenia plans to discuss within the EAEU the problem of cargo supplies from Armenia to Russia through the Upper Lars checkpoint on the Georgian-Russian border. "We are studying the materials of Rosselkhoznadzor to understand to what extent the products of our businessmen do not comply with the current sanitary standards in Russia. We have convened a meeting within the EAEU, which will take place within two days," Kerobyan noted.
The minister emphasized that it is surprising that during the whole year 35 trucks were returned from the border, and in the last two days alone this number has already exceeded 40 trucks. According to him, the Armenian side and their Russian colleagues will try to understand what has changed in regulation, which led to tightening of supervision. At the same time, Kerobyan admitted that the current situation may become a reason for Armenian producers to reconsider export directions and search for new markets.
On November 26, Rosselkhoznadzor expressed concern about violations in the supply of plant products from Armenia. According to the department, in 2023, territorial departments of Rosselkhoznadzor identified 72 cases of detection of harmful organisms in flower and fruit and vegetable products coming from Armenia. In particular, on November 24-26, 36 cases of contaminated flowers, cucumbers, dried fruits, grapes, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, apples, and pears being imported into Russia were identified, accompanied by phytosanitary certificates issued by the Armenian safety inspection body food products. Rosselkhoznadzor sent an official letter to Armenia with a request to immediately take comprehensive measures to prevent shipments of contaminated products to Russia and to inform the Russian department about the work carried out.
As a result of the actions of the Russian side, over 1 thousand trucks accumulated on the Russian section of the Georgian-Russian border, some of which began to return.