Deputy Economy and Trade Minister Hayyan Salman told Al-Watan in a special interview that reports about a free trade zone with Russia are inaccurate.
He said trade relations with Russia are good and the government is working to raise the level of economic and political cooperation.
Salman said the relationship extends beyond a trade zone and that Syria seeks to join the customs union which already includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Talks have been held with the three countries, but the Union law requires the agreement of all the members for Syria to join. It is expected that Syria will join the union soon, which will benefit the Syrian economy, Salman said.
Salman said that he held talks in Russia and Belorussia during his recent visits to the two countries, and pointed out that that both promised to assist the Syrian economy until it become qualified to join the Union.
Regarding an agreement with Ukraine, Salman revealed that talks have neared an agreement, but the draft of the agreement it is not yet signed.
The talks were held in June 2011, but at the time, the Syrian government had different priorities after the outbreak of the global war against it.
Salman said that the victories of Syrian army and the restoration of security in many regions, alongside a solution of the crisis in Ukraine, will help to reach a lasting agreement that will strengthen the economic relations and trade cooperation, especially as the Syrian and Ukrainian markets complete.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer