Middle East

Putin says EAEU, Iran to sign agreement to create free trade zone

Signing of deal planned for late December, says Russian president

Burç Eruygur, Syed Zafar Mahdi  | 08.12.2023 - Update : 08.12.2023
Putin says EAEU, Iran to sign agreement to create free trade zone Russian President Vladimit Putin meets with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (not seen) at Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Russia on December 7, 2023.


Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Iran plan to sign an agreement on the creation of a free trade zone by the end of the year. 

“This will create further opportunities to broaden our interaction,” Putin said during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi in Moscow.

Putin conveyed to Raisi the need to discuss the current situation in Palestine and said it is very important for Moscow and Tehran to exchange views on the situation in the region.

Putin also touched on bilateral ties, saying cooperation between Russia and Iran is developing in various areas.

“We have large infrastructure projects. We have been discussing them for a long time, and now we have moved on to the practical implementation of the construction of the North-South railway. We work, naturally, traditionally in the field of energy,” he said.

The trade turnover between Moscow and Tehran reached nearly $5 billion and grew by 20% in 2022 alone, said Putin.

Raisi said humanity is suffering from unilateralism and an unjust global system, and its manifestation is the Gaza Strip.

Describing what is unfolding in the besieged Palestinian territory as "genocide" and "a crime against humanity," Raisi pointed to the heavy death toll in Gaza since October 7, especially children, and said international organizations have "lost all their mechanisms."

Reiterating what he has repeatedly said in recent weeks, Raisi said Israeli crimes in Gaza "are supported by America and other Western countries,” terming the "ineffectiveness" of international organizations as "unfortunate."

"Gaza is a land where a child is martyred every 10 minutes, so it is necessary to stop these bombings as soon as possible," he said.

Touching on Russia-Iran relations, Raisi said Russia and Iran have good cooperation in energy, agriculture and knowledge-based industries, and he called for bolstering cooperation and said their countries can develop further in line with Iran's "neighborhood policy."​​​​​​​

He also extended an invitation to Putin to visit Tehran, which the Russian president accepted, according to Iran's state media.​​​​​​​

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