Russia

 

The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Russia has been the framework of the EU-Russia relations since 1997 and regulates the political and economic relations between the two parties.

 

Russia joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on

22 August 2012.

 

Trade picture

 

  • Russia is the third trading partner of the EU and the EU is the first trading partner of Russia.

  • Trade between the two economies showed steep growth rates until mid-2008 when the trend was interrupted by the economic crisis and unilateral measures adopted by Russia, which had a negative impact on EU-Russia trade. Since 2010 mutual trade has resumed its growth reaching record levels in 2012.

  • EU exports to Russia are dominated by machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, medecines and agricultural products.

  • EU imports from Russia are dominated by raw materials, in particular, oil (crude and refined) and gas. For these products, as well as for other important raw materials, Russia has committed in the WTO to freeze or reduce its export duties.

  • The EU is the most important investor in Russia. It is estimated that up to 75% of Foreign Direct Investment stocks in Russia come from EU Member States (including Cyprus).

 

Russia and WTO membership

 

On 22 August 2012 Russia joined the WTO. This is good news as

  • it will bring down the level of Russia's import duties to a more reasonable level, thereby improving market access for EU businesses, including service providers,

  • it will facilitate investment through a more predictable legislative framework.

  • it will also have a gradual positive impact on Russian business as it will improve investment conditions and competition on the Russian market.

  • Russian consumers will gain from both lower prices and increased quality due to competition.

 

To protect certain sectors, Russia both in the lead up to its accession and after has introduced new protectionist measures at a time when a liberalisation of the trade regime would have been expected (for instance the recycling fee for vehicles, the WTO non-compliant import duties and the multiplication of import ban for EU agricultural products like meat and dairy products).

 

The European Union and Russia have a strong trade relationship. Bilateral trade and investments continue to grow.

 

Trading with Russia