EU Explores Contacts With Eurasian Economic Union

© Sputnik / Alexander Astafyev / Go to the photo bankFirst session of EEU Intergovernmental Council
First session of EEU Intergovernmental Council - Sputnik International
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The European Union has finally come around to the idea of working together with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Russia’s envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said Monday.

ALPBACH (Austria), (Sputnik) – The Russia-led EEU, comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, is an international organization which aims at streamlining free flow of goods and services between its member countries.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reads documents during a meeting with foreign ministers and delegations from Germany, France, China, Britain, the U.S. and the European Union at a hotel in Vienna, Austria July 13, 2015 - Sputnik International
ASEAN States Support Idea of Trade Liberalization With EEU - Lavrov
"The long-term goal of establishing a free-trade area between those two bodies of integration [EU and EEU] should remain on the table. For a start, it would be expedient to set up initial working contacts between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Commission. It is welcoming that many within the EU are finally coming around to this idea," Chizhov said at the European Forum Alpbach in Austria.

The Russian envoy to the 28-nation bloc warned of numerous security challenges faced by both EU countries and Russia that ignored borders. He urged to restore cooperation on combating these threats to the level achieved before the breakout of the Ukrainian crisis.

"Today our countries are faced with a multitude of challenges that do not stop at borders – terrorism, illegal migration, drug and human trafficking, climate change. In order to combat these acute threats, Russia and EU have invested substantial efforts," Chizhov said.

"During the Ukraine crisis, much of this work has come to a standstill… While Russia and EU severely limited their cooperation, terrorists did not," he warned.

Russia’s relations with the European Union deteriorated greatly amid the Ukrainian crisis. Brussels accused Moscow of meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs and severed cooperation with Russia on many levels.

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