MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Leaders of the member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) may kick off on May 31 talks on a trade-and-economic agreement with China, Russian president’s aide Yuri Ushakov said on Monday.
"The leaders are expected to issue an instruction to the Eurasian Economic Commission to sign a joint statement with China on the beginning of negotiations on a trade-and-economic cooperation agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union and China," he said.
According to Ushakov, cooperation with China will be in focus at a narrow-format meeting between the leaders at a session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council due to be held in Kazakhstan’s Astana on May 31. The agenda, in his words, will include coupling of the Eurasian Economic Union and China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative.
Ushakov said the EAEU leaders will give start to the talks on unifying trade regime with Serbia.
"Decisions are expected in Astana on the launch of talks on unifying trade regime with Serbia," Ushakov told journalists.
The union's relations with other countries will be discussed at an enlarged session of the Higher Eurasian Economic Council, the presidential aide said.
The EAEU has already signed a free trade agreement with Vietnam and the upcoming meeting plans to discuss measures to make this agreement operational as soon as possible, he said.
The union is holding similar talks with Israel while experts are working on the issue of creating free trade areas with India, Egypt and Iran.
In his speech at the session, Russian President Vladimir Putin will also focus on the EAEU’s cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the presidential aide said.
The EAEU member states have also drafted an agreement on the procedure of signing international treaties with individual participating countries to regulate various issues of this activity," Ushakov said.
Another topic for discussion in the narrow format will be relations with the European Union, Ushakov said, adding that the Eurasian Economic Union upholds the position that the Europan and Eurasian integrations can and should be mutually supplementary.
The leaders are also expected to discuss the issue of obligatory participation of the Eurasian Economic Commission’s representatives in bilateral talks between the EAEU members states and countries of the European Union on basic cooperation and partnership agreements.
Last but not least, the leaders are to decide on the date and venue for a next meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. Among the options, according to Ushakov, are Bishkek in September, Yerevan in October, or Moscow in December. The latter option will be proposed by the Russian side, he said.