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Russia stops being leading trade partner in Transcaucasia, Central Asia - IMF

YEREVAN. May 12 (Interfax) - Russia is no longer a leading trade partner in Transcaucasia and Central Asia due to the world economic crisis, Ratna Sahay, deputy director of the IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department, said during the presentation of her report addressing the prospects of the Armenian economy given in Yerevan on Monday.

Russia's GDP is expected to drop sharply (by 6%) in 2009, Sahay said. The deterioration of the economic situation in Russia has already caused a considerable reduction of trade and private transfers from Russia to the countries of the region, and exports from the region's countries to Russia have also decreased, she said.

The economies of some countries, especially Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Armenia, are largely dependent on the inflow of private transfers from Russia, said Sahay.

At the same time, Russia continues to play an important role in the region in terms of investments, said Sahay.