About 40 states have plans to establish a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), the speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, Sergey Naryshkin, told an international conference in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on Monday, TASS reports.
“Five countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have already made a Eurasian choice, and another 40 countries across the world have officially voiced their wish to set up a free trade zone with our integration association,” Naryshkin said.
The Eurasian Economic Union, which comes into force in January 2015, offers a unique chance for cooperation between Western Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region, the lawmaker said. The EEU members are currently Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia. Kyrgyzstan is expected to join the union soon.
Naryshkin said those who consider the EEU as a threat only confirm that “a new and serious geopolitical player is indeed emerging in the world.” “It will probably build those lacking bridges which will unite Western Europe with the dynamic Asia-Pacific Region,” he stressed.
The lawmaker warned against regarding the new bloc as a threat, saying it gives a “unique chance in which the peoples of Europe, Asia and the world in general are strategically interested.”