Iran reluctant to make wheat tariff concessions within EAEU free trade zone

TASS– No agreements were made following the consultations, the negotiations will continue

Iran is ready to make tariff concessions on a wide range of agriculture products, excluding wheat, refined oil, mineral water and cigarettes, within a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) that is being formed now, according to Russian Agriculture Ministry’s report released after another round of consultations on a temporary agreement making for the creation of Iran-EAEU free trade zone attended by Deputy Minister Evgeny Gromyko.

“In its maximum proposal presented at the round, Iran demonstrated its readiness to make concessions under the terms requested by member-states, in almost all items the EAEU is interested in, excluding wheat, refined oil, mineral water and cigarettes,” the ministry said.

No agreements were made following the consultations as the sides failed to reach a “mutually acceptable compromise, the negotiations will continue,” the report said.

Presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia approved the proposals on the launch of negotiations on a free trade zone with Iran, Egypt, India and Singapore at the summit of the Eurasian Economic Union in December 2016. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said then that the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had expressed interest in signing an interim agreement with the EAEU, leading to the formation of a free trade zone.

On March 7, 2017, the intergovernmental committee of the Eurasian Economic Union made a resolution to start preparation of a relevant agreement. The document was approved following the results of the committee’s meeting held in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek.

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is an international integration economic association of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. The EAEU came into existence from January 1, 2015 having superseded the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAaEC) that functioned from 2000 to 2014.

The Treaty on the establishment of the EAEU was signed by the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on May 29, 2014 in Astana.