EEU to conclude talks with Iran on its membership of the Union by 2018 — Kazakhstan minister

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BISHKEK (TCA) — The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) – a single market that includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia – would conclude discussions with Iran over the country’s membership of the Union by the end of 2017, Iran’s PressTV news agency reports citing Timur Suleimenov, Kazakhstan’s minister of economy.

“We believe we can come up with something substantial by the end of the year,” Suleimenov told the Financial Times.

“We would like to have a framework signed then,” he added.

Suleimenov became minister in December after previously working as the minister in charge of economy and financial policy at the EEU Commission in Moscow.

Reaching a deal on free trade would represent a notable victory for the EEU — set up in 2015 — and mark a significant strengthening of relations between Iran and the former Soviet republics, the report added.

The EEU’s prime ministers in March decided to make talks with Tehran a priority, as it represents an opportunity to expand beyond the bloc’s combined market of 183 million people.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last August said that Moscow wanted Iran to join the Russia-led economic bloc.

Putin emphasized that a research had already started over the possibility of creating a free-trade zone between Iran and the EEU.

Sergey Kwan

TCA