Turkey and Russia discuss Customs Union collaboration

Stalled progress towards EU membership has shifted Turkey’s economic interest, and it is now looking for closer cooperation with Russia’s Customs Union, Economic Development Minister Aleksey Ulyukayev said, according to Russia Today.

Ulyukayev discussed the plan with Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci at the G20 trade ministers meeting in Sydney, Australia, over the weekend.

The talks focused on how the two countries can transition to using national currencies, instead of the dollar and euro, in trade.

“We have discussed the possible forms of cooperation, including the formation of a free trade zone between the Customs Union and Turkey. We have agreed to create a working group and to begin a more detailed discussion of these possibilities and prospects in September,” Ulyukayev said on the sidelines of G20, RIA Novosti reported.

On May 29 Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan signed the Eurasian Economic Union document, which will come into effect in January 2015. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are on the way to joining the Union.

If Turkey joins, it would be the first member that is not an ex-Soviet state to join the free-trade zone.

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