The Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and India signed a petition on the beginning of talks to establish a free trade area, a Sputnik correspondent reported Saturday.
The petition was concluded during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) by Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Trade Minister Veronika Nikishina and India's Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
"We are at the very beginning of this road. Usually such difficult negotiations are carried out for several years. That is why we do not know when they will finish. But we will try to implement it in a reasonable timeframe. A period of two to three years will be a very successful result," Nikishina told Sputnik.
On Thursday, Nikishina said that the EAEU could add as much as $2.7 billion to its GDP in the long run due to establishment of a free trade area with India.
The EAEU, comprising Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, is an international organization that encourages regional economic integration through the free movement of goods, services, and people within the union.
The 21st annual SPIEF is a major global platform for business representatives where crucial economic issues are discussed. SPIEF is held between Thursday and Saturday. Sputnik is an official media partner of the forum.