3 Nov 2023 12:23

Uzbekistan would benefit considerably from joining EAEU, but decision up to country - Russian Dep PM

SAMARKAND. Nov 3 (Interfax) - Uzbekistan's economy would benefit considerably if the country joined the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), in part thanks to the elimination of significant barriers in trade and on the labor market, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk told reporters at the 16th Verona Eurasian Economic Forum.

"We believe that Uzbekistan would benefit very much economically from joining the Eurasian Economic Union, since barriers that we have in trade would be eliminated as a result. Naturally, people that currently work in Russia, citizens of Uzbekistan, would enjoy the same rights in the area of employment as citizens of the Russian Federation or citizens of the Eurasian Economic Union. In other words, this is a very good new opportunity," Overchuk said.

However, asked if negotiations are being held on Uzbekistan joining the EAEU, he said the "accession of any country to the Eurasian Economic Union, not just Uzbekistan, is foremost the decision of the country itself."

The EAEU now has five members - Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Uzbekistan, along with Moldova and Cuba, has observer status, which allows it to attend meetings of EAEU bodies upon invitation without the right to participate in decision making, as well as to receive documents that are not confidential in nature.

At the beginning of 2021, not long after Uzbekistan secured observer status at the EAEU, the Russian authorities said Russia expected the country to join the union in future.