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Eurasian economic union meets to speed up proposed FTA with India.
May 26, 2023

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) has decided to expedite the proposed free trade agreement with India that would give Indian companies market access to resource-rich Eurasia where China is making deep inroads.
The decision was taken at the EAEU meeting under Russia's presidency in Moscow on Wednesday and Thursday. The EAEU comprises Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
The EAEU meet, which was attended by the presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan besides over 2,000 delegates, also discussed synergies between the grouping and Brics-SCO ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in India in July and the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India and China) summit in South Africa in August.
Meanwhile Foreign Minister S Jaishankar met Russian Ambassador Denis Alipov here on Thursday evening. 'Discussed our bilateral cooperation, including in the IRIGC-TEC framework. Looking forward to taking that to a higher level. Also spoke about the forthcoming BRICS Foreign Ministers’ meeting in South Africa,' Jaishankar tweeted following the meeting.
During his visit to India last month, Russian deputy prime minister Denis Manturov had discussed the FTA in detail with external affairs minister S Jaishankar. During a dialogue hosted by Ficci, Manturov and Jaishankar had said that they had entered 'advanced negotiations' over the FTA.
'We pay special attention to the issues of mutual access of production to the markets of our countries. Together with the Eurasian Economic Commission, we are looking forward to intensifying negotiations on a free trade agreement with India,' Manturov had said, referring to the executive body of the EAEU.
Trade preferences and a mechanism that guarantees protection of investments 'will be in demand among Russian and Indian businessmen', according to Manturov.
Jaishankar had conveyed that the FTA talks between India and the Russian-led EAEU were hampered by the Covid pandemic. He said that the ministry of external affairs was in favour of resumption of talks because the proposed pact 'will make a real difference to trade relationship'.
Jaishankar had also mentioned how India and Russia have already met their bilateral trade target of $30 billion before the target year of 2025. He further stated that the two-way trade rose to $45 billion between April 2022 and February 2023.
Russian experts say an India-EAEU FTA makes better sense for India as there is a feeling that Russian companies are unlikely to compete in India as vigorously as the Chinese would do.