Customs Union Considers Free Trade Deal with Israel

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a press conference in Moscow in Nov. 2013

MOSCOW—The Customs Union, an economic bloc led by Russia that includes Belarus, Kazakhstan and soon Armenia, has launched a join research group with Israel to study the prospects for creating a free trade zone, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) reported on Tuesday.

The joint group is comprised of experts of the EEC, ministries and departments of the Customs Union and the State of Israel, the Voice of Russia reports.

According to EEC Trade Minister Andrei Slepnyov, “the task of the research group is to conduct a deep system-oriented analysis of the prospects for the creation of a free trade zone between the countries.”

“The group is to determine which questions such an agreement might cover and outline possible approaches to the mutually advantageous settlement of sensitive issues for specific sectors,” Slepnyov said.

On the results of their study, the experts will present a special report and recommendations on the basis of which a decision may be taken to launch negotiations on a free trade zone between the Customs Union member countries and Israel.

The EEC said that modern free trade agreements are aimed at creating favorable conditions for the further development of trade-economic co-operation. In addition to the classical issues of liberalization of trade in goods through the reduction of customs duties, such agreements often include other areas of cooperation such as trade in services, measures for facilitating mutual investment activity, and ensuring the necessary protection and encouragement of capital investment.


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  1. Hratch said:

    Since Israel is a close friend of Azerbaijan, can Armenia reject doing business with them? Oh wait, “Mother Russia” always has the best interest of the Armenians at heart. They will protect us no matter what since we just danced in the street of Artsakh for the liberation of the Crimea.

  2. Sokimag said:

    That’s a good decision. It will make the countries in CU less isolated and more in touch with the rest of the world. So if Armenia manages to be in CU(even though I disagree), it will have better economic deal than staying in isolation.