Middle East

‘We are studying signing economic integration agreement with UAE’

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Friday that Moscow is looking into signing an economic integration agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as signing a free trade agreement with Egypt, Indonesia and Iran.

The announcement was made during a speech at the Eurasian Supreme Economic Council on Friday, comprising Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

Putin added that the Russian government is working to fill Russian citizens’ need for foodstuffs, which have declined due to sanctions, noting that the West is evidently hostile towards Russia.

He noted the importance of expanding commercial transactions in national currencies with “friendly countries”, stressing that this would allow the European Union (EU)countries to reduce dependence on Western countries.

The Russian president had earlier confirmed that sanctions imposed on his country had harmed Western countries more than Russia, which he stressed was flexible in the face of “external challenges”.

The US and Western countries imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russia after Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine on 24 February. The sanctions are ongoing.

READ: Syria: Russia redeploys forces to Ukraine

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