8 May 2024 21:37

Heads of EAEU states approve start of talks on free trade zone with Mongolia

MOSCOW. May 8 (Interfax) - The leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) states have approved the start of talks on signing a temporary agreement on free trade with Mongolia.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at an anniversary summit of the EAEU in Moscow on Wednesday.

"Mongolia is not just a neighbor, but an important partner to our countries. In collaboration with our colleagues from Ulaanbaatar, we studied in a comprehensive way the trade policy instruments that can be used to deepen mutually profitable cooperation, as well as the consequences of the formation of a free trade regime," Andrei Slepnev, trade minister of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), was quoted as saying while commenting on the decision in a EEC report.

The Eurasian Economic Commission Board approved the results of the work of the joint research group for signing a free trade agreement between the EAEU and Mongolia in April, confirming the reasonableness of signing the document. The board then also approved a draft decision of the Eurasian Economic Commission Board on the start of talks.

The EEC earlier said the EAEU states and Mongolia intended to complete the work on a temporary agreement on the creation of a free trade zone with a restricted commodity range before the end of 2024.

Mongolia is now among the states that have observer status in the EAEU (Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are members of the union). The EEC and the government of Mongolia signed a cooperation agreement in June 2015, and the sides formed a joint research group to study the reasonableness of signing a free trade agreement in 2020.