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Eurasian Trade Bloc Sees Norway as a Good Candidate for Membership

© Sputnik / Dmitry Astakhov / Go to the mediabankRussian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attends meeting of the Inter-Governmental Council of Eurasian Economic Union Countries in Belarus
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev attends meeting of the Inter-Governmental Council of Eurasian Economic Union Countries in Belarus - Sputnik International
Norway may be invited to join the Eurasian Economic Union, a body that includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and several other former Soviet states.

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A top official from the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has stated that Norway could be considered for membership in the organization,  which is currently comprised of several former Soviet states, media reports said.

In an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Finansavisen, Timur Suleimenov, the Minister of Economy and Financial Policy for the EEU, said that his organization would welcome Norway's membership.

"We would like to have Norway as a member. However, it should be emphasized that we just have made Armenia and Kyrgyzstan [members], and we have no immediate plans for expansion," he said.

A treaty on the establishment of the EEU was inked by the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on May 29, 2014, and came into force on January 1, 2015.

Right now, the EEU is an economic union of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, which is seen by many as a competitor to the EU.

Suleimenov, for his part, assured that there is no inherent conflict between the EU and the EEU.

"I understand that you can have that impression regarding Ukraine, and with regards to other countries that are members, to some extent. But when it comes to economic development, trade, and investment, we primarily want peaceful coexistence," he said.

An application by the then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to join the EEU as an observer, scrapping an association agreement with the European Union, is thought to have led to the massive protests on Kiev's Euromaidan square in November 2013.

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The protests ended with Yanukovych being ousted from the presidency by rioters, which in turn resulted in the armed conflict between Kiev's new government and supporters of the independence of eastern Ukraine's Donbass region.

While not a member of the EU, Norway is a member of the European Economic Area and a NATO member. Earlier, Norway, together with a number of EU countries, slapped economic sanctions on Russia due to Moscow's position on Ukraine.

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