28 May 2024 21:43

Uzbekistan's joining EAEU would be beneficial, but only possible if Uzbek side interested - Putin

TASHKENT. May 28 (Interfax) - The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) would benefit from the Uzbek economy joining it, but this is a complex process, and it is only possible if Uzbekistan itself wishes to join, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"In general, if an economy like Uzbekistan's joins the union, I believe the union would only benefit from it. But the Uzbek economy needs to benefit from it too. And it is a rather complex process," Putin said at a press conference following his state visit to Tashkent.

Putin emphasized that the EAEU, currently comprised of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, "is developing at a good pace and yielding real results for all its parties."

"But whether to participate or not is a choice of any sovereign state, based on, in the first instance, economic interest and economic viability. We have different levels of economic development, different levels in terms of the development of financial systems, and when one or another government makes a relevant decision on its participation or non-participation in one or another integration union, they make it based on this in the first instance," Putin said.

Russia and Uzbekistan are already bringing their economies closer, he said. "It is a calm, smooth process, our economies are becoming closer and developing; many joint projects are emerging. The outlines of a mutual interest in further cooperation and participation in integration unions will gradually take shape as well," the Russian president said.