Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country supports the initiative to extend an interim free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Iran until a new deal is reached.
Negotiations are actively underway on a full-fledged free trade agreement between the EAEU and Iran to replace the current temporary pact of 2018, Putin said on Friday during an online meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the economic block’s highest governing body.
Due to the current agreement, the EAEU-Iran trade turnover increased by 73.5 per cent to $5 billion in 2021, Xinhua news agency quoted the Russian leader as saying.
“Despite the confrontation unleashed by the so-called collective West, it is quite obvious to all of us that many foreign partners have shown growing interest in the activities of the EAEU.”
He said that Russia considers it appropriate to intensify the negotiations on a free trade agreement with Egypt, start similar talks with Indonesia, and study the possibility of a preferential trade agreement with the United Arab Emirates.
Established in 2015, the EAEU is a regional bloc consisting of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Armenia, which seeks to optimise the flow of goods and services among its members.
Friday’s meeting was also attended by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev via video link.