Russian President Vladimir Putin sees good prospects for the development of cooperation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU, comprising Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan) with other countries.

At a meeting with Russian ambassadors on Thursday, the Russian head of state said that EAEU “forms on the WTO principles a common socio-economic space with unified policy in various economy sectors, with single common standards.” According to him, the Union “develops industrial and technological cooperation, implements joint scientific and educational programs.” “However, our Union is also interested in developing interaction with all countries and integration associations based on the principles of freedom and openness and, of course, with observance of the universal rules of world trade”, the Russian leader said.

According to him, “EAEU holds consultations on the establishment of free trade zones with more than 40 states and international organizations, a corresponding agreement has been signed with Vietnam, negotiations have been launched with Israel, Serbia, and the development of agreements with Egypt is next.” Putin also said that during his recent visit to China, negotiations started on the establishment of a comprehensive trade and economic partnership in Eurasia based on the Eurasian Economic Union and the Chinese Silk Road Economic Belt Project. “We see this as the first step in the formation of a large Eurasian partnerships, including with the participation of the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, other CIS countries, as well as China, India, Pakistan and in the future – Iran”, Putin said.

The president said that “this idea was also supported by the leaders of the Southeast Asian Nations at the Russia – ASEAN summit in Sochi (in May).” And at the June St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) the possibilities of establishing respectful interaction between the EAEU and EU states were discussed with European representatives.