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Putin hosts meeting of Moscow-dominated economic alliance

May 14, 2018

MOSCOW (AP) — 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, coordinate 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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