Teheran (AsiaNews) – By May, Iran could join the Euro-Asian Economic Union (EU), in an attempt to counter the effects of the sanctions of the United States and the West. The confirmation comes from Russia, the leading nation of the emerging bloc formed by Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, created in an attempt to strengthen the expansion of bilateral trade and investment not only between Moscow and Teheran, but within the same area .
According to Russian energy minister Alexander Novak, “entry” into the “free trade” block following a “temporary agreement” is already in an “advanced phase” and “will strengthen bilateral trade”. The senior Moscow official, who also serves as head of the Russian-Iranian intergovernmental commission, adds that it will guarantee “expansion of investments”
A senior official in Tehran confirms the progress of the negotiations, underlining that last December the Islamic Republic completed the formalities necessary for entry into the EU; the official entry is therefore expected in the coming weeks and not later than the end of May.
The Economic and Trade Union, which includes mostly nations of the former Soviet bloc, aims to ensure the free exchange of goods, services, capital and workers on the model between Member States (on the model of Europe). Analysts and experts consider it as a leading economic force, able to challenge the European Union and the United States.
Since its official birth in 2015, over 40 nations and international organizations – including China – have expressed interest in free trade with the EU. Negotiations are currently under way with South Korea, Egypt and India. However, the entrance of Tehran is a “priority” because it allows the area to be extended to a potential basin of 183 million people.
The Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin sponsors Iran’s entry into the block. “Bilateral relations – he said – will benefit from the reduction of the tension around Iran, following the nuclear agreement” (the JCPOA) that Moscow, unlike the United States, wants to keep in force.