ST. PETERSBURG, June 17. /TASS/. The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the European Union are entering a new level of talks on Eurasian integration, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Friday.
"The conditions [set by the European Union - TASS] are as follows: before raising this issue it is necessary to ensure that all member countries of the Eurasian Union join the World Trade Organization (WTO)," he told TASS. "Obviously they mean Belarus whose talks with the World Trade Organization they have been impeding. Now we are entering a new level in these talks."
He said that the then chief of the Eurasian Economic Commission Viktor Khristenko amd Jean-Claude Juncker exchanged letters. "Now let us wait and see," he said. "The reply was rather restrained but nevertheless it was not a ‘no’ answer."
The Russian diplomat noted that work on the process of Eurasian integration will begin on an expert level. "We will look at where we can cooperate," he said. "Naturally, we have been taking into account and will further take into account the European Union’s experiences, both negative and positive, in the process of Eurasian integration."
"As soon as our Eurasian integration entered a serious level, when the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union were already established, naturally, the question of relation with the European Union sprang into existence," Chizhov noted. "In all fairness it has to be said that the European Union has traveled a certain way from complete negation to recognition of the Eurasian integration as an objective phenomenon and further on to possible discussion of certain modalities of contacts and prospects of relations. And traditionally, various types of conditions were set."
At a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the establishment of a bigger Eurasian partnership on the basis of the Eurasian Economic Union. He invited partners from the European Union to work with the new economic union and stressed that despite the current sanction the European Union remains Russia’s reliable partner.