Nov 07, 2019

Oleg Belozerov, CEO of Russian Railways, met Suren Papikyan, Armenia’s Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure

Oleg Belozerov, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways, has held a working meeting in Moscow with Suren Papikyan, the Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of the Republic of Armenia.

Under discussion was the development of passenger and freight traffic and, in particular, the renewal of Armenia’s rolling stock.

As noted by the CEO of Russian Railways, the Company fulfills all its obligations under the Concession Agreement.

During the 11 years of the concession, Russian Railways has invested more than 120.1 billion Armenian drams of its own funds in the country’s railways, which is about $300 million at the weighted average exchange rate.

"We have invested heavily and made real improvements in the industry. Armenia’s railway system is highly efficient and pays a decent level of wages which is higher than the national average. We need to think together about the algorithms for further development. Progress in this direction is impossible without mutual understanding and support from the Armenian state. We can only solve the problems facing us together," said Oleg Belozorov.

The head of Russian Railways informed the Armenian side about the Russian and foreign experience of state support for passenger traffic. In Russia, for example, the federal government budget provides about 37 billion roubles per annum to subsidise the costs of the suburban commuter complex, while the government’s decision to reduce VAT to zero enabled the development of a long-term sustainable model for suburban commuter rail.

As a result of the meeting, the parties agreed to establish a joint working group to improve the activities of South Caucasus Railways and within that framework to consider the possibility of updating the Concession Agreement.