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The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is an economic union of former Soviet Union member states. It is comprised of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. The treaty establishing the EAEU was signed on 29 May 2014 by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, and came into force on 1 January 2015. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan accessed the Union on 2 January 2015 and 6 August 2015, respectively.

The EAEU was set up to challenge the economic influence of the US and the European Union, and to counter the two super powers’ attempts to isolate Russia.

The EAEU provides for free movement of goods, services, capital and labour. Member states have a common trade policy regime regarding third countries.

The EAEU has been very active negotiating trade deals.

It has two free trade agreements in force with Vietnam (2016) and Iran (interim FTA, 2019), as well as an agreement on economic and trade cooperation with China (2019).

It has signed FTAs with Serbia (2019) and Singapore (2019).

It has been discussing trade deals with Cambodia, Chile, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Mercosur and Peru.

Potential negotiations with ASEAN, Bangladesh, Brazil, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand and Thailand could also emerge further down the line.

In addition, the EAEU has a free trade area with Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, as part of the Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Area, which was established in 2012. On 1 January 2016, Russia suspended the agreement with Ukraine, following the provisional application of the European Union-Ukraine trade deal.

Last update: March 2020

Photo: German Marshall Fund of the United States

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