EAEU open to signing free trade deals with Asian countries: Russian PM

Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev © Dmitry Astakhov/POOL/TASS. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

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BANGKOK, Nov 4, 2019, TASS. Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines have expressed interest in signing free trade agreements with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at the 14th East Asia Summit in Thailand’s capital of Bangkok on Monday, TASS reported.

“The Eurasian Economic Union has experience in creating a common market and I would like to point out that the Union is open to cooperation with all interested partners,” he said. “We welcome the interest that Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines have shown,” Medvedev added.

He noted that free trade agreements had already been signed with Vietnam, Singapore and China, talks were underway with India.

The Russian prime minister emphasized the need to combine the potential of ASEAN, EAEU countries and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). He also stressed that the 2016 Russia-ASEAN Summit had supported the idea of establishing a broad Eurasian partnership.

Open market environment

Sanctions have become a political pressure tool that triggers trade wars, Russian Prime Minister added.

“Unfortunately, the use sanctions is increasing, they have become a tool of political pressure and unfair competition,” he pointed out. According to Medvedev, protectionist sentiment is growing stronger in a number of countries, “which leads to specific political and legal decisions.” “They result in large-scale trade wars,” the Russian prime minister emphasized.

At the same time, in his words, Asian countries are beginning to realize that there is a need to search for new methods of constructive interaction instead of establishing blocs and unions that oppose each other. “The current situation in relations between the countries of the region and Asian countries’ determination to create an open and non-discriminatory market environment are proof of that,” Medvedev said.

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