Russia offers Tajikistan observer status within EEU trade bloc

Russia offers Tajikistan observer status within EEU trade bloc
A session of the EEU's Supreme Eurasian Economic Council is held at least once a year.
By bne IntelliNews April 24, 2018

Russia has offered Tajikistan observer status in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Avesta news agency reported on April 20, citing remarks made by Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov at the Tajik-Russian Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation held in Moscow last week.

The EEU is a Russia-led trade bloc, which also includes Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The only country currently holding an observer status in the EEU is Moldova. Vietnam has a free trade agreement with the EEU.

“We have offered Tajikistan the opportunity to seriously consider the status of an observer country of the EEU,” Shuvalov was quoted as saying. “We ask the Tajik side to treat this issue with attention, because the issues of phytosanitary control, veterinary control, technical regulation, and standards would later lead to more free movement of goods.”

Tajikistan, the poorest country in Central Asia, has not officially indicated its desire to join the free trade bloc but has repeatedly said that it was watching developments following Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the bloc in August 2015. Kyrgyzstan has not yet reaped the benefits of its membership as it only last year started recovering from an economic slowdown which hit its main trade partners within the EEU - Russia and Kazakhstan. As Kyrgyzstan's membership was largely treated as part of Russia's political ambition to boost the EEU, its economic development record didn't match that of the existing member states.

Tajikistan may also face opposition from Kazakhstan and Belarus to its membership in the bloc.

Related Articles

Gazprom enforces $476mn claim against Moldova for gas used in rebel Transnistria region

Gazprom has enforced another claim against Moldova’s natural gas transport operator Moldovagaz, worth $476mn, in the International Court for International Arbitrage of the Industry and Trade ... more

EEU, Iran sign interim free trade agreement in Astana

The Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Iran have signed an interim free trade agreement (FTA), TASS reported on May 17. “The provisional agreement includes an initial list of goods, ... more

Russian anti-virus software company Kaspersky Lab relocating to Switzerland

Russian anti-virus software company Kaspersky Lab will move its data and major processing centre out of Russia to Switzerland by year-end in a bid to win back customers’ trust, the company said on ... more