Armenian exports must pass Upper Lars checkpoint through a special, green corridor
Recently, discussions were held in the Ministry of Economy of Armenia, dedicated to the topic related to the situation at the Upper Lars checkpoint.
In particular, the meeting participants discussed the difficulties faced by exporters in the supply of their products to the markets of the EAEU countries - in this case, the customs union of countries, a priori involving the unhindered movement of goods and services. Commercial Director of "Nutfood" CJSC, initiator and founder of Emil Stepanyan also took part in these discussions. As the expert said in an interview with ArmInfo correspondent, the problem is not only that it is difficult for Armenia to find a good alternative to Upper Lars, but also in Upper Lars itself, that is, in the unbearable situation that is happening there.
"Armenian manufacturers, in fact, having only one land route for the supply of goods to the markets of the EAEU partner countries, face great difficulties here. Instead of normal procedures inherent in civilized countries, Upper Lars is dominated by nothing and chaos, starting with queues, extremely disrespectful attitude on the part of Upper Lars checkpoint employees and ending with customs control itself. Why are the goods of a member country of the EAEU subjected to customs procedures on a par with goods from third countries?" - asks Stepanyan.
The whole point, the expert believes, is that the Russian side continues to view the Upper Lars checkpoint as the customs border of the EAEU and subjects all cargoes, including those from Armenia, to customs control: at entry into the EAEU almost on a par with goods from third countries? Why are Armenian certificates insufficient and still need to pay for Russian certificates? Are the goods from the Kaliningrad region of the Russian Federation subjected to customs inspection at the entrance to the "mainland" of Russia? The same with the Armenian cargo is the same for the EAEU!>
In this vein, the only way out, the expert sees in the creation of a "green corridor" for the machines of Armenia, which would not be subject to checks, taking into account that the country is a member of the EAEU. "Today, cargo from Armenia, a member of the EAEU, has practically no advantages compared with Georgian, Turkish or other goods. Everyone is waiting in the same queue, for all almost the same procedures and certificates.
A separate topic is the queue. "Armenia has very ambitious plans - a significant increase in exports, including to the EEU countries. It is terrible to imagine what will happen at the Upper Lars checkpoint if these ambitious plans of the country's government come true. Already at the Upper Lars checkpoint there are huge lines, people are waiting for several days. What's next? Total collapse? Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that Armenian cargoes pass through without stopping. Another important topic is the attitude of employees. The Upper Lars staff members treat our compatriots very disrespectfully. And most of our compatriots are forced to endure, as there is no one to stand up for their rights. They are afraid of further harming themselves and their goods, "said Stepanyan. The nightmare goes on and on - on the roads of the North Caucasus, already in the form of lawlessness of North Ossetian traffic police officers. They stop Armenian cars and trucks at every step, trying to get "on the paw" under any pretext. In case of refusal, do not give the load to go on, obstructing. In general, everything that happens in the North Caucasus, except as an "anti-Russian action" can not be called. No normal person would want to link the fate of his business with Russia, judging by it by the way the Verkhniy Lars checkpoint works and to what extent the traffic police of the North Caucasus republics reach.
, - asked the expert "We, a private business, continue to believe that it is pointless to" complain "to government circles, we continue to disbelieve that the state can take effective measures to change the situation for the better. We need to break this stereotype, we must believe again, especially under the new government, in the new Armenia, "said Emil Stepanyan.
According to Stepanyan, many people knew about the meeting at the RA Ministry of Economy, but only about 10 people came, whereas in Armenia hundreds exporters and transport workers. People, according to Stepanyan, simply do not want to waste time on long and fruitless conversations with officials. "I'm one of the few who can naively, but believes that in the new Armenia the officials will begin to work more and more actively in the interests of the state," he stressed. Stepanyan also said that an agreement was reached with the Minister of the EEC Karine Minasyan to carefully study the problem and hold meetings in Yerevan with the participation of transport workers, who will present the situation in detail, in particular, document their claims and complaints. "I hope our second meeting, which we agreed, will be held in the short term. We do not ask for stars from the sky. We demand respect and fulfillment of agreements. If Armenia is an equal member of the EAEU, then all documents and certificates issued by Armenia should be recognized in other EAEU countries. And the cargoes checked by the customs services of Armenia should not be checked again at the Upper Lars checkpoint. We somehow have to achieve this>, - he concluded.