EAEU and Serbia sign free trade agreement

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Serbia on Friday signed a free trade zone agreement on Friday.

The Eurasian Economic Union was set up on the basis of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space and has been acting since January 1, 2015. Its member nations are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. In 2016, the EAEU inked a free trade zone agreement with Vietnam and in 2018 it signed an interim free trade zone agreement with Iran and an economic cooperation agreement with China.

The free trade zone agreement with Serbia was signed on the sidelines of a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Rumas, Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin, and Kyrgyz Prime Minister Mukhammedkala Abylgaziyev.

According to the press service of the Russian government, the new agreement is geared to harmonize terms of Belarus’, Kazakhstan’s and Russia’s trade with Serbia as they already have bilateral trade agreements with that country. Apart from that, the agreement establishes a similar trade regime for Armenia and Kyrgyzstan as they have lacked privileges on the Serbian market until today.

“These agreements are economically beneficial for both the EAEU nations and Serbia both on a short-term horizon, as they promise immediate saving of customs duties on the existing exports, and in the medium-term perspective, as they facilitate the realization of export possibilities in conditions of expanded free trade regime,” the press service noted.

First deputy head of the Russian government office, Sergei Prikhodko, said earlier the free trade agreement with Serbia would not infringe upon the European Union’s interests. He said it was in conformity with the basic Russia-EU documents, such as the roadmap on the common outer security space and the joint statement on the European Union’s expansion and Russia-EU relations of April 27, 2004.