An research team was formed to study the prospects of a free trade area between India and the Eurasian Economic Union, the country’s ambassador to Russia said.

India hopes to begin consultations soon on creating a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union, Indian Ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran said.

“A Joint Study Group has been constituted to study the prospects of a Free Trade Area (FTA) between India and the Eurasian Economic Union. Presently, the study is underway and we look forward to the early conclusion of this study. Subsequently, we will study the report and thereafter enter into the actual negotiations for the Free Trade Area (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement) to start. India would like to be associated with the Eurasian Economic Union,” Saran told RIA Novosti in an interview.

The EEU, comprising Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, is an international organization that encourages regional economic integration through the free movements of goods, services, and people within the union.

Vietnam became the first country to sign a free trade agreement with the EEU in May 2015. More than 40 countries and international organizations, including China, Indonesia, Israel and Iran have expressed interest in creating a free trade area with the bloc.

In July, the EEU member states have agreed with New Delhi to form a group to explore the possibility of creating a free trade zone with India. The issue was discussed the same month by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the SCO and BRICS summits in the Russian city of Ufa.