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Russia hopes to sign free trade deal with Vietnam until end of 2014

April 18, 2014, 18:49 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
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VLADIVOSTOK, April 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Economic Development Ministry has expressed hope that a free trade zone agreement with Vietnam will be signed until the end of 2014.

Serious progress has been reached with Vietnam over this issue, Russian Economic Development Deputy Minister Alexei Likhachyov told ITAR-TASS on Friday.

“At least we’ve succeeded in agreeing on the text [of the agreement],” he said.

Commenting on the talks over creating free trade zones with Israel and New Zealand, Likhachyov said, “The situation is different.”

However, he said the events in Ukraine had no impact on cooperation in this field.

“Formally, they have a little effect on the talks with New Zealand. There’s none on Israel and moreover on Vietnam,” Likhachyov said.

Earlier, Likhachyov said an agreement with New Zealand would be most likely signed in 2014, while a deal on an economic union with Vietnam was expected in 2015.

However, a ministry spokesman said in March that the talks could drag on.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said Wellington and Moscow had lately achieved certain progress in the talks.

At the same time, he said that now it was inexpedient to hold them.

The latest round of talks held in Moscow on February 28, 2014 yielded no results. They were attended by Russian Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov, New Zealand Ambassador to Russia Hamish Cooper and Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings.

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