“We don’t have enough quality apartments for highly educated people with high wages and high standards,” said Aram Shahbandarian, a former Google employee based in Yerevan who is helping many Russians. moved to the city, said. “Yerevan is cracking.”
Vahan Kerobyan, Armenian Economy Minister, said in an interview that as a country with strategic ties to Russia, it does not market itself as trying to pull companies out of Russia, but if companies decide to move, it will work to accommodate them. .
“The Armenian tech community is supporting their Russian friends and the government is very worried about providing Russian companies with a good location that is not too expensive for them to work in,” he said. Mr. Kerobyan estimates that 43,000 people have moved from Russia to Armenia, half of whom hold Russian passports and half Armenian passports.
Miro, an American software company, chartered flights to Yerevan for its Russian employees and transferred them to two downtown hotels, Mr. Kerobyan said. X-tensive, a software development company in Russia, has also moved its employees to the Armenian city because its main customer, ServiceTitan, was founded there, he said.
Miro has said publicly that it will move its workers out of Russia. X-tensive did not respond to a request for comment.
Russo-Ukrainian War: Main developments
Many of these workers may end up moving elsewhere because visa restrictions force them to leave their current homes after a certain number of days. Many people are not sure where they can go. Others are planning to move to emerging tech hubs further afield, such as Dubai and Lisbon.
Artem Taganov, founder and chief executive officer of a Russian startup called HintEd, said he knows about 70 founders of Russian companies who, like him, have fled to Armenia. If entrepreneurs stay in Russia, their companies can only serve the local market, he said.