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Customs Union to form free-trade zone with Egypt

Staff writer ▼ | August 14, 2014
Members of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are discussing the possibility of establishing a free-trade zone with Egypt, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
Vladimir Putin
Cooperation   Russian President Vladimir Putin announced
"An important agreement was reached to establish cooperation between Egypt and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. We are now studying the possibility of creating a free-trade zone. We have agreed to ease access for Egyptian products to our market," Mr. Putin said after talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Sochi.

The Russian president said that agricultural products make up some 90 percent of Egypt’s exports to Russia. "Egypt has already increased supplies of such products to our markets by 30 percent and is ready to increase it by another 30 percent in the near future."

The two counties discussed creating free-trade zone between Egypt and the customs union in March, during a Joint Russian-Egyptian Commission on Trade and Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation meeting.

The Egyptian president arrived in Russia Tuesday, on his first official visit since he was elected in May 2014. In February, when he was still Egypt's defense minister, Sisi met with Mr. Putin in Moscow.