Putin hosts meeting of Moscow-dominated economic alliance

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev speak during a Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting in Sochi, Russia, Monday, May 14, 2018. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has chaired a meeting of the economic alliance that includes his country and several ex-Soviet nations, and which has invited Moldova as an observer.

During Monday's meeting in Sochi, Putin hailed the Eurasian Economic Union as a dynamic group and pointed at its economic achievements.

The Eurasian Economic Union includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. It is intended to encourage free trade, co-ordinate the members' financial systems and regulate their industrial and agricultural policies.

The meeting participants agreed to offer Moldova observer status in the union.

The meeting also provided a platform for the first encounter between Putin and new Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. He won the job after spearheading a wave of protests that forced out the long-serving leader of the Caucasus nation.


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