SOCHI (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said the creation of an ASEAN-EEU free trade zone was not only possible, but "a preferred format."
"I believe there is a possibility of creating a free trade zone between the Eurasian [Economic] Union and ASEAN. Its launch could be our contribution in the formation of the Asia-Pacific free trade zone," Putin said at the Russia-ASEAN Summit in Sochi.
The Eurasian Economic Union is an international organization for economic integration launched in 2015, with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia as its member states. Over 40 countries and international organizations, including Indonesia, India, China, Thailand, Cambodia and Israel, have expressed a desire to create a trade zone with the EEU. Last May, Vietnam and the EEU signed a trade agreement.