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    Pankaj Saran, a new ambassador of India to Russia. (File)

    India Awaits Mandate From EAEU to Launch Talks on Free Trade Deal – Ambassador

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    According to the Indian ambassador to Russia, New Delhi was ready to start the negotiation process on a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – New Delhi is ready to start the negotiation process on a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and waits for a corresponding mandate from the organization, Indian Ambassador to Russia Pankaj Saran told Sputnik.

    "As far as India concerns, we are ready to begin the negotiations. So we are awaiting the decision of the EAEU and once that happens, we will commence the negotiations but obviously we would like to enter these negotiations and start the process of free trade between India and the Union and this would be a first step towards integration," Saran said.

    He also added that nothing impeded the conclusion of the agreement, which can be beneficial for both sides.

    "I do not see any obstacles. Not to my mind. The main issue here is whether a free trade agreement between India and EAEU would benefit both sides or not… The preliminary indications are that it will benefit both sides," Saran said.

    The diplomat added that the joint study showed the deal has a good potential to increase the level of trade between the sides.

    "If that is a conclusion, then the negotiations would become that much easier," he said.

    In 2015, the EAEU and India established a joint group that has been examining the feasibility of the potential free trade agreement.

    The Eurasian Economic Union includes Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.

    In 2015, the EAEU and India established a joint group that has been examining the feasibility of a potential free trade agreement between the sides, which finalized its report a few months ago.

    The report, which showed the agreement had a potential to increase the level of bilateral trade, has been sent to the respective authorities for consideration, the ambassador added.

    The Eurasian Economic Union includes Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.

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