_ Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation. Moscow, 19 July 2018.
Vladimir Putin took part in a meeting of ambassadors and permanent representatives of Russia at international organisations and associations, where he outlined the main goals of Russian diplomacy – including Eurasian integration.
In the years to come, Russia must not only firmly establish itself among the world’s top five economies, but also substantially improve the key standards related to the quality of life of its citizens. To achieve these strategic objectives we must make full use of our foreign policy opportunities.
It is important that we focus our efforts on achieving specific, pragmatic results, tap new markets, expand exports and gain access to advanced technology and investment, while overcoming the obstacles and limitations Russian companies face in foreign markets.
In today’s world, the principles of competition and openness in global trade are increasingly replaced by protectionism, while economic gain and expediency are swapped for partisan agendas and political pressure. Economic ties and entrepreneurial freedom are being politicised.
Against this backdrop, Russia’s foreign policy must run counter to this trend by being more economically driven and rational. Creating a space of good neighbourly relations, wellbeing, security and stability along the entire perimeter of our state border has special importance.
The Eurasian Economic Union is the key integration project for Russia. It is gratifying that our partners are guided by the same priorities as we are within the EAEU, and we implement them together quite effectively. The essence of these approaches is to use the opportunities arising from the integration processes to stimulate economic growth in all member countries so that citizens and businesses benefit from this cooperation.
We also believe in the importance of stepping up EAEU contacts with other countries. Its free trade area with Vietnam has been launched, and talks are underway with Israel, Serbia and Singapore. Consultations with Egypt and India are to begin soon. A temporary agreement paving the way to the creation of a free trade area with Iran has been signed. All in all, there are about 50 proposals aimed at establishing partnerships with the Eurasian Economic Union.
Good prospects are opening up due to joint efforts with China resulting from the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation signed in May between Beijing and the Eurasian Economic Union.
The Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road Initiative are efficiently complementing each other. Harmonisation of these projects can lay the foundation for establishing a Greater Eurasian Partnership – an economic cooperation space that is as free as possible from all barriers.