EEU to study free trade area agreement with Iran

August 26, 2015 - 0:0

TEHRAN – The Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission has decided to set up a joint research group to study the prospects of reaching a free trade area (FTA) agreement with Iran, the Commission said on August 24.

“The discussion focused on the prospects of reaching an FTA agreement with Iran. This is a new topic and is being announced for the first time. The relevant initiative was expressed by Iran not so long ago. It gained support both at the expert level and at the level of the EEU members’ government agencies,” EEU Trade Minister Andrei Slepnev said at the time.

A free trade area is the region encompassing a trade bloc whose member countries have signed a free trade agreement. Such agreements involve cooperation between at least two countries to reduce trade barriers — import quotas and tariffs — and to increase trade of goods and services with each other.

“Iran is an important partner for all the EEU member states. Cooperation between the EEU and Iran is an important area of our work in strengthening the economic stability of the region,” the Chairman of the EEU's Board Viktor Khristenko said in July after a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Iran to Russia Mehdi Sanaei.  

The EEU is an economic union of former Soviet states led by Russia to guarantee free transit of goods, services, capital and workers among members. 

The treaty establishing the EEU was formally signed by three states which were part of the former Soviet Union: Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. Agreements to enlarge the EEU to Armenia and Kyrgyzstan were signed in 2014.