Economy 14:14 03/03/2020 Armenia

Armenian businessmen unable to export Iranian fruits, vegetables to Russia amid coronavirus fears in Georgia

Dozens of cargo trucks transporting fruits and vegetables to Russia from Iran have been stuck on the Georgian border for several days amid coronavirus fears.

Speaking to Panorama.am, businessman Vahram Mirakyan said the Georgian authorities justify the move with the spread of the disease in Iran.

“But I consider this justification absurd and unreliable for a number of reasons, including for scientific ones. The WHO says the virus can survive on hard surfaces for 48 hours. Before arriving in Yerevan, the Iranian cargoes are loaded onto Armenian trucks in Ararat Province and the driver is replaced by an Armenian one. That is, only the product in the vehicles is Iranian, nothing else,” he said.

In addition, the businessman stressed, all the goods carried by the trucks are shipped to Russia, none of them is intended for consumption in the Georgian market.

Mirakyan last managed to deliver Iranian vegetables, namely cauliflower, to Russia last week. The kiwi-loaded truck has remained in Yerevan, he said.

Due to the Georgian authorities’ move, according to the businessman, the Armenian economy may suffer greatly in the near future. If the goods imported from Iran are returned and the businessmen have to sell them in Armenia, the Armenian market will explode, since such a great volume of consumption cannot be secured in the country, he said.

As a result, there will be a sharp drop in prices for fruits and vegetables. The situation will also affect businesses, as well as local residents who sell apples or vegetables.

Besides, the customs clearance of Iranian goods is carried out in Armenia. If they are not exported to Russia, the budget will lose revenues.

Under the current situation, the businessman offers a possible solution to the problem: “The process can be suspended for three to four days to deal with the accumulated goods. We will not make any new orders, but at least the accumulated products are consumed.”

The Ministry of Economy told Panorama.am that they are aware of the problem. The ministry promised to unveil the measures they plan to take later.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan left for Georgia on an official visit on Tuesday. It would be good if this issue was raised and resolved at the meeting with his Georgian counterparts.

By the way, according to information obtained by the businessman, the Georgian side intends to ban the entry and exit of any trucks coming to or leaving Armenia.



Source Panorama.am
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