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Armenia Faces Cash-Crunch as Russian Remittances Slump

A fall in Armenian migrant workers in Russia could negatively affect the economy of the South Caucasus country. (Photo: Nazik Armanakyan)

Financial transfers from Russia to the South Caucasus country of Armenia have dipped by a staggering 56 percent over the past year, leaving the thousands of Armenian families who depend on Russian remittances struggling to make ends meet.

“We feel like an abandoned dog,” 42-year-old homemaker Nune Matevosian, a Yerevan resident whose husband works in construction in Moscow, bleakly commented. “Our husbands are in Russia . . . here, they barely can find a job, nor do they find a way out [there], even if they work. The ruble has no value now . . . [S]hould they live on it or send [money] to us?”

In Armenia, one-third of the population of nearly 3 million officially falls under the poverty line, making financial remittances from abroad often a matter of basic survival. The World Bank in 2014 reported that 21 percent of Armenia’s economy derives from such transfers; one of the highest rates in the world.

Russia, where thousands of Armenians have worked for decades to support their families, accounts for more than 80 percent of those transfers.

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Armenia Faces Cash-Crunch as Russian Remittances Slump

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