Russia: Pres Putin to participate in EAEU summit – his first international event of new term

Russia: Pres Putin to participate in EAEU summit – his first international event of new term

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin will participate in the summit of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which will become the first international meeting of his new, fifth presidential term.

Along with the five EAEU member states—Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan—delegations from other former Soviet countries that are members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will take part.

A traditional friendly dinner for the heads of CIS delegations took place on Tuesday night. The president of Cuba, who arrived in Russia late on May 7, was also invited to take part.

The current session of the EAEU takes place in the run-up to the 10th anniversary of the EAEU. A relevant treaty was signed by the parties on May 29, 2014, in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Yerevan holds the rotating presidency in the EAEU in 2024. Armenia is represented by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. The delegations of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are led by presidents Alexander Lukashenko, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Sadyr Zhaparov.

The leaders are expected to review the results of the union’s ten-year-long work and exchange opinions on future integration. Discussions will be held in both narrow and extended formats.

A number of important documents are planned to be signed. One of them will give green light to negotiations on signing a trade agreement with Mongolia.

Also, Yerevan will propose the date and venue of the next EAEU summit. So far, no decision has been made. The matter will be discussed at the meeting.

Certain bilateral meetings, to be held on the sidelines of the summit, have already been added to Putin’s schedule, in particular a meeting with Pashinyan.

According to Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov, the meeting with the Armenian prime minister will be “quite substantial as there are a lot of issues to discuss.”

“A number of problematic topics have accumulated in Russian-Armenian relations lately. We expect the leaders to have a frank discussion about them,” he added.

Other bilateral contacts are also possible. For example, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he planned to discuss military coordination and issues related to tactical nuclear weapons with Putin on Wednesday.

The Eurasian Union has been operating for almost 10 years and has achieved “quite significant results.” During this time, the volume of mutual trade has almost doubled, to $80.5 billion. The total GDP of the EAEU countries has grown from $1.6 trillion to $2.5 trillion. Trade turnover with third-party states has grown by 60%.

Moreover, the external debt of the union’s members has decreased by 15%, while the portfolio of accumulated mutual direct investments has reached $16.7 billion.

The EAEU is an international economic integration of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan. It became operational on January 1, 2015. The group has already signed trade agreements with Vietnam, Iran, Singapore, and Serbia, as well as two treaties with China.

Currently, consultations are under way to facilitate trade with Egypt, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates. Besides, preparations are being carried out to begin similar talks with India.

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