BISHKEK (TCA)—Israel is interested in the creation of a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.
“Several dozen countries have come up with proposals to sign agreements with the EEU about creating free trade zones. Israel has also expressed such interest. Talks are underway with other countries as well and, if we agree, such a free trade zone could be created,” Lavrov said at a news conference following his talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman in Moscow on Jan. 26, according to the web site of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“It’s not only about what Russia wants. We are no longer the Customs Union, but the Eurasian Economic Union, which includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia. Kyrgyzstan will join us in a couple of months,” Lavrov said.
The Israeli Foreign Minister emphasized that there is no talk about Israel’s accession to the EEU.
“We are negotiating creation of a free trade zone, not accession to the Eurasian Union,” Liberman said, adding that Israel has a similar free trade zone with the European Union.
Timur Zhaksylykov, deputy minister of economy of Kazakhstan, last week said that more than 30 countries are interested in the creation of a free trade zone with the EEU.
He said that talks on a free trade zone are currently underway with Vietnam, and the EEU member countries are currently engaged in talks with countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which includes Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein, as well as with New Zealand, Turkey, India, Israel, and Egypt. Almost 10 countries of Latin America are also ready to start negotiations, Zhaksylykov claimed.