16:39 GMT21 January 2021
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    About 50 countries have expressed interest in partnership with the Eurasian Economic Union, the Russian foreign minister said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Some 50 countries expressed their interest in cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), while several states wish to discuss creation of a free trade zone with the EAEU, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

    "I would note that about 50 countries have shown their interest in establishing some sort of relationship with the Eurasian Economic Union, many of them would like to negotiate creation of a free trade zone," Lavrov said in an interview with the Belarusian media.

    The Russian minister reminded that the EAEU signed its first free trade agreement with Vietnam, adding that several other countries of South-East Asia were negotiating the creation of such a zone. Lavrov added that the consultations were also held with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

    "Considering rather active efforts to promote integration processes in the area to the east of the European Union, the European Union cannot but understand that they will only win from finding mutually beneficial ways of joining these efforts," Lavrov said.

    The EAEU, comprising Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, is an international organization that encourages regional economic integration through the free movement of goods, services, and people within the union.

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    Tags:
    free trade, Eurasian Economic Union, ASEAN, Sergei Lavrov, Russia
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