US move to cut aid to Armenia unlikely to have negative implications – economist

The Obama administration’s decision to reduce its annual aid to Armenia to a record low is not likely to have economic implications, an Armenian economist has said, considering the move too symbolic to require any consideration.

“The aid is supplied also to many post-Soviet and developing countries which demonstrate a political will to establish democracy, implement reforms and so on,” Tatul Manasaryan told, ruling out pessimistic scenarios.

Instead, the economist called for viewing the issue in a comparative perspective. “The second platform is that the dynamically changing world sees also priorities changing, so naturally, humanitarian aid is now much more important – objectively and subjectively – due to the developments in Ukraine,” he said, pointing out to the country’s priority-based approach.

The economist said he isn’t inclined to attribute all that to Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), noting that the United States has been traditionally maintaining high-level relations with the country.

“Its manifestation is not only that aid – which I find important but not decisive – but also the rhythmic consistent development in all spheres of relations,” he explained.

Recalling the one-time tensions in the Iran-West relations, the economist noted that Armenia had never before been viewed as an ally of the Islamic Republic or faced any restriction at all.

“In this respect, the United States and the West have the appropriate understanding, which means they do not link the relations with Armenia to third countries. These are direct relations,” he said, adding that the same also applies to Armenia’s EEU membership.

“The important thing is that Armenia will continue developing its relations with third countries. I think the United States’ approach is a quite positively evaluated phenomenon. After all, we ourselves choose the path to development, the possible ways and the friend countries. I find that the United States has an adequate and commensurate approach to all those fundamental issues,” Manaseryan noted.

Warning against any attempt of protests against what he called a good-will gesture by a foreign country, the economist said he finds that the issue would really deserve attention in case Azerbaijan were to receive more funding.


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