Russia Urges EU to Build Ties with New Eurasian Union
Russia’s ambassador to the EU has called on the bloc to launch talks with the newly formed Eurasian Economic Union despite the Western economic sanctions against Moscow imposed over the Ukraine crisis.
EUobserver on Friday quoted Vladimir Chizhov as saying: "I think that common sense advises us to explore the possibility of establishing a common economic space in the Eurasian region, including the focus countries of the Eastern Partnership.”
"We might think of a free trade zone encompassing all of the interested parties in Eurasia.”
The Eastern Partnership is a policy initiative launched by the EU in 2009 that aims to bring Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine closer to the bloc. It represents the Eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy and strengthens bilateral relations between the EU and its partners.
The Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union officially started functioning on Thursday. It brings together Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan.
Ukraine was originally to join, but after its President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in February last year, the new pro-Western government in Kiev signed a free trade treaty with the EU instead.
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