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Russia–European Union relations

Russian-European relations
Map indicating locations of EU and Russia

European Union


Russian-European relations are the international relations between the European Union (EU) and its largest bordering state, the Russian Federation, to the east.[1] The relations of individual member states of the European Union and Russia vary, though a 1990s common foreign policy outline towards Russia was the first such EU foreign policy agreed. Furthermore, four European Union-Russia Common Spaces are agreed as a framework for establishing better relations. The latest EU-Russia strategic partnership was signed in 2011,[2][3] but it was later challenged by the European Parliament in 2015 following the annexation of Crimea and war in Donbass.[4]


  • Issues 1
    • Gas disputes 1.1
    • Tensions over Association Agreements 1.2
    • Development of Russian political influence and financial links 1.3
    • Allegations of Russian intimidation and destabilization of EU states 1.4
  • Trade 2
  • Other issues 3
    • Kaliningrad 3.1
    • Energy 3.2
    • Siberian flights 3.3
    • Meat from Poland 3.4
    • 2014 Russian food embargo 3.5
  • Partnership and Cooperation Agreement 4
  • The Four Common Spaces 5
    • Common Economic Space 5.1
    • Common Space of Freedom, Security and Justice 5.2
    • Common Space on External Security 5.3
    • Common Space on Research, Education, Culture 5.4
  • EU membership discussion 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10


Gas disputes

The Russia–Ukraine gas dispute of 2009 damaged Russia's reputation as a gas supplier.[5] After a deal was struck between Ukraine and the EU on 23 March 2009 to upgrade Ukraine's gas pipelines[6][7] Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin threatened to review Russia's relations with the EU. "If Russia’s interests are ignored, we will also have to start reviewing the fundamentals of our relations", Putin stated.[8] According to Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko the plan appeared to draw Ukraine legally closer to the European Union and might harm Moscow's interests.[7] The Russian Foreign Ministry called the deal "an unfriendly act" (on March 26, 2009).[9] Professor Irina Busygina of the Moscow State Institution for Foreign Relations has said that Russia has better relations with certain leaders of some EU countries than with the EU as a whole because the EU has no prospect of a common foreign policy.[10]

In September 2012, the European Commission (EC) opened an antitrust investigation relating to Gazprom's contracts in central and eastern Europe.[11] Russia responded by enacting, also in September 2012, legislation hindering foreign investigations.[12] The Commission's investigation was delayed due to Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.[13] In April 2015, the EC accused Gazprom of unfair pricing and restricting competition.[14] The European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, stated that "All companies that operate in the European market – no matter if they are European or not – have to play by our EU rules. I am concerned that Gazprom is breaking EU antitrust rules by abusing its dominant position on EU gas markets."[15] Gazprom said it was "outside of the jurisdiction of the EU" and described itself as "a company which in accordance with the Russian legislation performs functions of public interest and has a status of strategic state-controlled entity."[16] Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė said that the Kremlin was using Gazprom as "a tool of political and economic blackmail in Europe".[17]

Tensions over Association Agreements

The run-up to the 2013 Vilnius Summit between the EU and its eastern neighbours saw what The Economist called a "raw geopolitical contest" not seen in Europe since the end of the Cold War, as Russia attempted to persuade countries in its "[74] In June 2015, Russia's ambassador to Sweden, Viktor Tatarintsev, told Dagens Nyheter that if Sweden joins NATO "there will be counter measures. Putin pointed out that there will be consequences, that Russia will have to resort to a response of the military kind and re-orientate our troops and missiles."[75]

Latvian journalist Olga Dragilyeva stated that "Russian-language media controlled by the Russian government and NGOs connected with Russia have been cultivating dissatisfaction among the Russian-speaking part of the population" in Latvia.[76] In April 2015, the Russian navy disrupted NordBalt cable-laying in Lithuania's exclusive economic zone.[77][78] In June 2015, a Chatham House report stated that Russia used "a wide range of hostile measures against its neighbours", including energy cut-offs, trade embargoes, subversive use of Russian minorities, malicious cyber activity, and co-option of business and political elites.[79]


The EU is Russia's largest trading partner by far with the EU accounting for 52.3% of all foreign Russian trade in 2008 and 75% of foreign direct investment (FDI) stocks in Russia also come from the EU. The EU exported €105 billion of goods to Russia in 2008 and Russia exported €173.2 billion to the EU. 68.2% of Russian exports to the EU are accounted for by energy and fuel supplies. For details on other trade, see the table below;[80]

Direction of trade Goods Services FDI Total
EU to Russia €105 billion €18 billion €17 billion €140 billion
Russia to EU €173.2 billion €11.5 billion €1 billion €185.7 billion

Russia and the EU are both members of the

  • Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the European Union
  • The official site of the EU's delegation to Russia
  • European External Action Service: The EU's relations with Russia
  • European Union Institute for Security Studies: Research on EU-Russia Relations
  • Danish Institute of International StudiesThe Russo-Georgian War and Beyond: towards a European Great Power Concert,
  • The EU and Russia cease to be a priority for each other: The squabble over WTO membership reveals the defunct state of the strategic partnership, FIIA Comment (15) 2012, The Finnish Institute of International Affairs

External links

  • Van der Loo, Guillaume (2013). "EU-Russia Trade Relations: It Takes WTO to Tango?". Legal Issues of Economic Integration 40 (1): 7–32.  

Further reading

  1. ^ "European Union - EEAS (European External Action Service) | EU relations with Russia". Retrieved 2015-06-11. 
  2. ^ "EU and Russia: Strategic Partnership" (PDF). EU External Action. 2011. Retrieved 2015-06-11. 
  3. ^ "Russia-EU strategic partnership". Retrieved 2015-06-11. 
  4. ^ a b "Russia is no longer a strategic partner of the EU, say MEPs". European Parliament. 11 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Russia and Ukraine sign gas deal, BBC News (19 January 2009)
  6. ^ EU moves to secure Ukrainian gas, BBC News (23 March 2009)
  7. ^ a b Russia suspicious of EU-Ukraine gas "master plan", Reuters (March 23, 2009)
  8. ^ Putin threatens to review relations with EU, Russia Today (23 March 2009)
  9. ^ Russia raps EU over Ukraine gas talks , Reuters (March 26, 2009)
  10. ^ Analysis: Deauville summit BBC, 19 October 2010
  11. ^ White, Aoife (5 September 2012). "Gazprom Faces EU Antitrust Probe on Eastern Europe Gas Sales". 
  12. ^ Martyniszyn, Marek (2014) Legislation Blocking Antitrust Investigations and the September 2012 Russian Executive Order, 37(1) World Competition 103
  13. ^ Schreck, Carl (22 April 2015). "Explainer: The EU's Antitrust Case Against Russia's Gazprom".  
  14. ^ Kanter, James (22 April 2015). "In Accusing Russian Energy Giant Gazprom, E.U. Begins a Test of Wills". The New York Times. 
  15. ^ "Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Gazprom for alleged abuse of dominance on Central and Eastern European gas supply markets". European Commission. 22 April 2015. 
  16. ^ Johnson, Keith (22 April 2015). "EU to Gazprom: Play by the Rules". Foreign Policy. 
  17. ^ Fairless, Tom; Steinhauser, Gabriele (22 April 2015). "EU Files Formal Charges Against Gazprom for Abuse of Dominant Position". Wall Street Journal. 
  18. ^ "Playing_East_Against_West". The Economist. 23 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "Putin’s Power Grab: First Armenia, Now Ukraine". The Daily Beast. 
  20. ^ "Vilnius summit overshadowed by Ukrainian trade deal rejection". DW.DE. 
  21. ^ "Frequently asked questions about Ukraine, the EU's Eastern Partnership and the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement" (PDF). European Union External Action. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  22. ^ Benitez, Jorge (2015-08-04). "Putin’s False Account of NATO Frontline Troops". Newsweek. Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  23. ^ "Russia’s Hybrid War Against Poland". Eurasia Daily Monitor. Jamestown Foundation. 2015-04-29. Retrieved 2015-04-30. 
  24. ^ Shekhovtsov, Anton (April 2015). "The Challenge of Russia’s Anti-Western Information Warfare". Diplomatiaa. Retrieved 2015-04-30. 
  25. ^ Higgins, Andrew (6 April 2015). "Using Cash and Charm, Putin Targets Europe’s Weakest Links". The New York Times. 
  26. ^ a b Schmidt, Christophe (3 April 2015). "Russia gambles on populist parties in anti-EU campaign".  
  27. ^ Budziak, Sławomir (30 March 2015). "Czech Echoes of the Kremlin's Information War". New Eastern Europe. 
  28. ^ "Reports multiply of Kremlin links to anti-EU parties". EU Observer. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-04. 
  29. ^ Coynash, Halya (17 April 2014). "East Ukraine crisis and the 'fascist' matrix". Al Jazeera. 
  30. ^ Rettman, Andrew (11 June 2015). "Farage and Le Pen unite on Russia report".  
  31. ^ Anton Shekhovtsov (2015-05-03). "Russia and Front National: Following the Money". The Interpreter Magazine. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  32. ^ Graham, Georgia (16 September 2014). "Nigel Farage: Stop opposing Vladmir Putin in Ukraine and join forces to defeat Islamic terrorists". (London). 
  33. ^ Corbyn, Jeremy (17 April 2014). "Nato belligerence endangers us all". Morning Star Online. 
  34. ^ Harding, Luke (8 December 2014). "We should beware Russia’s links with Europe’s right". The Guardian. 
  35. ^ Jauvert, Vincent (27 November 2014). "Poutine et le FN : révélations sur les réseaux russes des Le Pen".  
  36. ^ Dodman, Benjamin (23 November 2014). "France’s cash-strapped far right turns to Russian lender". France24. Archived from the original on 23 November 2014. 
  37. ^ Baczynska, Gabriela (26 May 2015). "French far-right leader Marine Le Pen in Moscow amid Ukraine tensions". Reuters. 
  38. ^ a b Turchi, Marine (27 November 2014). "'"Far-right Front National's Russian loan: '31 mln euros more to follow.  
  39. ^ a b Lichfield, John (27 November 2014). "€40m of Russian cash will allow Marine Le Pen’s Front National to take advantage of rivals’ woes in upcoming regional and presidential elections". The Independent (London). 
  40. ^ Pabst, Sabrina (29 November 2014). "Is the Kremlin financing Europe's right-wing populists?".  
  41. ^ Beardsley, Eleanor; Flintoff, Corey (26 December 2014). "Europe's Far Right And Putin Get Cozy, With Benefits For Both".  
  42. ^ "Mediapart: National Front's Kremlin loan is worth €40mn". EU Observer. 2014-11-27. Retrieved 2014-12-04. 
  43. ^ "Financement du FN : des hackers russes dévoilent des échanges au Kremlin" [Financing of the National Front: Russian hackers unveil contacts with the Kremlin].  
  44. ^ a b Krekó, Péter; Macaulay, Marie; Molnár, Csaba; Győri, Lóránt (3 August 2015). "Europe’s New Pro-Putin Coalition: the Parties of ‘No’". Political Capital Institute (Hungary).  
  45. ^ Jones, Sam; Hope, Kerin; Weaver, Courtney (28 January 2015). "Alarm bells ring over Syriza's Russian links".  
  46. ^ Coalson, Robert (28 January 2015). "New Greek Government Has Deep, Long-Standing Ties With Russian 'Fascist' Dugin".  
  47. ^ Rettman, Andrew (27 January 2015). "Greece says No to EU statement on Russia". EU Observer. 
  48. ^ Tétrault-Farber, Gabrielle (26 January 2015). "Greek Election Wins Putin a Friend in Europe".  
  49. ^ Lyman, Rick; Smale, Alison (7 November 2014). "Defying Soviets, Then Pulling Hungary to Putin". The New York Times. 
  50. ^ Szécsi, Zoltán (17 February 2015). "Controversy over Putin visit to "illegal" memorial to 1956 Soviet invaders". 
  51. ^ a b Than, Krisztina (30 March 2015). "Special Report: Inside Hungary's $10.8 billion nuclear deal with Russia". Reuters. 
  52. ^ Shaun Walker (3 November 2014). "Ukraine: Donetsk votes for new reality in country that does not exist". the Guardian. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  53. ^ "A prelude to a farce: Prearranged ballots for Kremlin-backed breakaway regions".  
  54. ^ Andrew Higgins (30 November 2014). "Russian Money Suspected Behind Fracking Protests". New York Times. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  55. ^ Ortega Dolz, Patricia (27 February 2015). "We fought together, communists and Nazis alike, for the liberation of Russia". El Pais. 
  56. ^ Max Seddon (2015-03-22). "Racists, Neo-Nazis, Far Right Flock to Russia for Joint Conference". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2015-03-23. 
  57. ^ Paul Goble (2015-03-22). "Russia Hosting Europe’s Neo-Nazis, Nationalists and Anti-Semites, Putin Supporters All". The Interpreter Magazine. Retrieved 2015-03-23. 
  58. ^ Anton Shekhovtsov (2015-04-04). "What Does the Fascist Conference in St. Petersburg Tell Us About Contemporary Russia?". The Interpreter Magazine. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  59. ^ "Kremlin cash flows towards pro-Putin MEP". LSM. 2015-04-13. Retrieved 2015-04-14. 
  60. ^ Holehouse, Matthew (11 June 2015). "Ukip under fire after blocking scrutiny of party donations". (London). 
  61. ^ "Russian Politicians Building an International Extreme Right Alliance". Retrieved 2015-10-27. 
  62. ^ Day, Matthew (1 November 2009). "Russia 'simulates' nuclear attack on Poland". The Telegraph (London). 
  63. ^ a b O'Dwyer, Gerard (13 June 2012). "Russian Military Chief Stirs Anti-NATO Pot". Defense News. 
  64. ^ Cenciotti, David (23 April 2013). "Russia Simulated A Large-Scale Aerial Night Attack On Sweden". The Aviationist (Business Insider). 
  65. ^ Illie, Luiza (10 May 2014). "Romania queries Moscow after deputy PM sends bomber jet tweets".  
  66. ^ "‘Tanks don’t need visas,’ Putin aide tells west".  
  67. ^ Whitmore, Brian (3 June 2015). "Why Eston Kohver Matters".  
  68. ^ "Russia simulated an attack on Denmark". 31 October 2014. 
  69. ^ "Dangerous Brinkmanship" (PDF). European Leadership Network. 5 November 2014. 
  70. ^ Witte, Griff (23 November 2014). "Finland feeling vulnerable amid Russian provocations". Washington Post. 
  71. ^ Jensen, Teis (22 March 2015). "Russia threatens to aim nuclear missiles at Denmark ships if it joins NATO shield".  
  72. ^ Olsen, Jan M. (21 March 2015). "Danish minister quarrels with Russian ambassador". Associated Press (Yahoo News). 
  73. ^ Kruse, Simon (26 March 2015). "»Det er ikke en trussel. Det er en advarsel«".  
  74. ^ Berg Bentzrød, Sveinung (9 April 2015). "Russian aggression: Nordic states extend their military cooperation".  
  75. ^ "Russia warns of 'risks' should Sweden join Nato". 18 June 2015. 
  76. ^ Martyn-Hemphill, Richard; Morisseau, Etienne (4 April 2015). "Baltics in front line of Information War". The Baltic Times. 
  77. ^ Braw, Elisabeth (5 May 2015). "Balts Say Russian Navy Bullying Undersea Cable Crews".  
  78. ^ "Russia accused of disrupting new energy link between Sweden and Lithuania". 4 May 2015. 
  79. ^ Giles, Keir; Hanson, Philip; Lyne, Roderic; Nixey, James; Sherr, James; Wood, Andrew (June 2015). "The Russian challenge" (PDF).  
  80. ^ a b EU-Russia bilateral trade relations, European Commission
  81. ^ Pop, Valentina (29 July 2011) EU to ease travel for residents of Russian enclave, EU Observer
  82. ^ "Energy Dialogue EU–Russia. The Tenth Progress Report." (PDF).  
  83. ^ Почему Россия отказывается от польского мяса? (Russian)
  84. ^ EU and Russia tackle thorny issues at Samara summit 19/05/07
  85. ^ Ashifa Kassam. "Russian food embargo leaves Europe with glut of fruit, pork and mackerel". the Guardian. 
  86. ^ "European Union - EEAS (European External Action Service) | Legal framework". Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  87. ^ "Agreement on partnership and cooperation establishing a partnership between the European Communities and their Member States, of one part, and the Russian Federation, of the other part" (PDF). p. Article 2. 
  88. ^ "European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - The EU-Russia Partnership – basic facts and figures". Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  89. ^ Statement by President Barroso at the press conference following the EU-Russia Summit Press conference Brussels, 15 December 2011, (December 15, 2011)
  90. ^ "Russia Pushing for EU Visa-Free Travel Deal in January". 2013-12-07. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  91. ^ Sokolov, Alexander; Haegeman, Karel; Spiesberger, Manfred; Boden, Mark (22 December 2014). "Facilitating EU-Russian Scientific and Societal Engagement". Science & Diplomacy 3 (4). 
  92. ^ EU membership next step for Russia after NATO, Daily Times, 28 May 2002
  93. ^ Italian PM Berlusconi confident Russia will join EU, EUbusiness, 17 November 2005
  94. ^ Do Not Adjust Your Sets, TIME Europe Magazine, 7 July 2003
  95. ^ "Berlusconi says he wants Russia to join the EU". 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  96. ^ "Russia not planning to join EU". 2008-10-17. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  97. ^ "Four spaces" of Russia and European Union, "Special opinion" program on Russian Radio
  98. ^ "Four spaces, Rossiyskaya newspaper". Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  99. ^ "Interview of official Ambassador of Russian Foreign Ministry on relations with the EU". 2004-11-25. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  100. ^ TKS.RU - всё о таможне (2004-04-23). "Four spaces, TKS". Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  101. ^ Michael A. McFaul, West or East for Russia?, The Washington Post, 9 June 2001
  102. ^ Schroeder says Russia must find place in NATO, EU
  103. ^


See also

Due to Ukraine crises in 2015 the deputy chief editor of JEF magazine treffpunkteuropa Tobias Gerhard Schminke appealed to European leaders to think about a long-term perspective for Russian EU membership to secure enduring peace for Eastern Europe.[103]

At present, the prospect of Russia joining the EU any time in the near future is slim. Analysts commented in 2001 that Russia is "decades away" from qualifying for EU membership.[101] Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has also said that though Russia must "find its place both in NATO, and, in the longer term, in the European Union, and if conditions are created for this to happen" that such a thing is not economically feasible in the near future.[102]

Russian permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov commented on this by saying that Russia has no plans of joining the EU.[96] Vladimir Putin has said that Russia joining the EU would not be in the interests of either Russia or the EU, although he advocated close integration in various dimensions including establishment of four common spaces between Russia and the EU, including united economic, educational and scientific spaces as it was declared in the agreement in 2003.[97][98][99][100]

Among the most vocal supporters of Russian membership of the EU has been former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. In an article published to Italian media on 26 May 2002, he said that the next step in Russia's growing integration with the West should be EU membership.[92] On 17 November 2005, he commented in regards to the prospect of such a membership that he is "convinced that even if it is a dream ... it is not too distant a dream and I think it will happen one day."[93] Berlusconi has made similar comments on other occasions as well.[94] More recently, in October 2008, he said "I consider Russia to be a Western country and my plan is for the Russian Federation to be able to become a member of the European Union in the coming years" and stated that he had this vision for years.[95]

EU membership discussion

Russia and the EU continue to work together under Horizon 2020, which runs from 2014 to 2020.[91]

This space builds on the long-standing relations with Russia through its participation in EU Research and Development activities and the 6th FPRD in particular, and under the TEMPUS programme. It aims at capitalising on the strength of the EU and Russian research communities and cultural and intellectual heritage by reinforcing links between research and innovation and closer cooperation on education such as through convergence of university curricula and qualifications. It also lays a firm basis for cooperation in the cultural field. A European Studies Institute co-financed by both sides will be set up in Moscow for the start of the academic year 2006/7.

Common Space on Research, Education, Culture

EU activities in this area are done in the framework of its Common Foreign and Security Policy.

The road map underlines the shared responsibility of the parties for an international order based on effective OSCE and the Council of Europe. The parties will strengthen their cooperation on security and crisis management in order to address global and regional challenges and key threats, notably terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). They will give particular attention to securing stability in the regions adjacent to Russian and EU borders (the "frozen conflicts" in Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh).

Common Space on External Security

With a view to contributing to the concrete implementation of the road map, the cyber-crime, document security and judicial cooperation. There was also agreement about developing greater cooperation between the European Border Agency (FRONTEX) and the Federal Border Security Service of Russia.

Cooperation on combating terrorism and other forms of international illegal activities such as money laundering, the fight against drugs and trafficking in human beings will continue as well as on document security through the introduction of biometric features in a range of identity documents. The EU support to border management and reform of the Russian judiciary system are among the highlights of this space.

Work on this space has already made a large step forward with the conclusion of negotiations on the Visa Facilitation and the Readmission Agreements. Both the EU and Russia are in the process of ratifying these agreements. The visa dialogue will continue with a view to examine the conditions for a mutual visa-free travel regime as a long-term perspective. In a 15 December 2011 statement given after an EU-Russia summit, the President of the European Commission confirmed the launch of the “Common Steps towards visa-free travel” with Russia.[89] Russia hopes to sign a deal on visa free travel as early as January 2014.[90]

Common Space of Freedom, Security and Justice

Among the wide range of actions foreseen, a number of new dialogues are to be launched. Cooperation will be stepped up on regulatory policy, investment issues, competition, financial services, telecommunications, transport, energy, space activities and space launching, etc. Environment issues including nuclear safety and the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol also figure prominently.

The objective of the common economic space is to create an open and integrated market between the EU and Russia. This space is intended to remove barriers to trade and investment and promote reforms and competitiveness, based on the principles of non-discrimination, transparency, and good governance.

Common Economic Space

The London Summit in October 2005 focused on the practical implementation of the Road Maps for the four Common Spaces.

The Moscow Summit in May 2005 adopted a single package of Road Maps for the creation of the four Common Spaces. These expand on the ongoing cooperation as described above, set out further specific objectives, and determine the actions necessary to make the common spaces a reality. They thereby determine the agenda for co-operation between the EU and Russia for the medium-term.

At the St. Petersburg Summit in May 2003, the EU and Russia agreed to reinforce their co-operation by creating, in the long term, four common spaces in the framework of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement of 1997: a common economic space; a common space of freedom, security and justice; a space of co-operation in the field of external security; and a space of research, education, and cultural exchange.

Russia has chosen not to participate in the European Union's European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), as it aspires to be an "equal partner" of the EU (as opposed to the "junior partnership" that Russia sees in the ENP). Consequently, Russia and the European Union agreed to create four Common Spaces for cooperation in different spheres. In practice there are no substantial differences (besides naming) between the sum of these agreements and the ENP Action Plans (adopted jointly by the EU and its ENP partner states). In both cases the final agreement is based on provisions from the EU acquis communautaire and is jointly discussed and adopted. For this reason, the Common Spaces receive funding from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), which also funds the ENP.

The Four Common Spaces

Russian exports to the EU have very few restrictions, except for the steel sector.

The legal basis for the relations between the EU and Russia is the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). Signed in June 1994 and in force since December 1997, the PCA was supposed to be valid for 10 years. Thus, since 2007 it is annually automatically renewed, until replaced by a new agreement.[86] The PCA provides a political, economic and cultural framework for relations between Russia and the EU. It is primarily concerned with promoting trade, investment and harmonious economic relations. However, it also mentions the parties' shared "[r]espect for democratic principles and human rights as defined in particular in the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris for a new Europe" and a commitment to international peace and security.[87][88] A replacement agreement has been under negotiations since 2008 and following that and WTO entry, a more detailed agreement will be negotiated.

Partnership and Cooperation Agreement

Announced August the 6th, 2014 by President Putin.[85]

2014 Russian food embargo

Further problems include a ban by Russia on Polish meat exports (due to allegations of low quality and unsafe meat exported from the country[83]), which caused Poland to veto proposed EU-Russia pacts concerning issues such as energy and migration; an oil blockade on Lithuania; and concerns by Latvia and Poland on the Nord Stream pipeline.[84] In 2007 Polish meat was allowed to be exported to Russia.

Meat from Poland

There have been agreements on other matters such as the withdrawal of taxes on EU flights over Siberia.

Siberian flights

Russia has a significant role in the European energy sector as the largest exporter of oil and natural gas to the EU. In 2007, the EU imported from Russia 185 million tonnes of crude oil, which accounted for 32.6% of total oil imports, and 100.7 million tonnes of oil equivalent of natural gas, which accounted for 38.7% of total gas imports.[82]


In July 2011 the European Commission put forward proposals to classify the whole of Kaliningrad as a border area. This would allow Poland and Lithuania to issue special permits for Kaliningrad residents to pass through those two countries without requiring a Schengen visa.[81]

The Russian exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast has, since 2004, been surrounded on land by EU members. As a result, the Oblast has been isolated from the rest of the federation due to stricter border controls that had to be brought in when Poland and Lithuania joined the EU and further tightened before they joined the Schengen Area. The new difficulties for Russians in Kaliningrad to reach the rest of Russia is a small source of tension.


Other issues

[80] In April 2015, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland decided to increase their military cooperation, telling [73] A few days later, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said that Russia could "neutralize" a missile defense system in Denmark.[72] Danish foreign minister Martin Lidegaard said the statements were "inacceptable" and "crossed the line".[71] In March 2015, Russia's ambassador to Denmark, Mikhail Vanin, stated that Danish warship "will be targets for Russian missiles" if the country joined NATO's missile defense system.[70][69], finding that they "add up to a highly disturbing picture of violations of national airspace, emergency scrambles, narrowly avoided midair collisions, close encounters at sea, simulated attack runs, and other dangerous actions happening on a regular basis over a very wide geographical area."Dangerous Brinkmanship In November 2014, the European Leadership Network reviewed 40 incidents involving Russia in a report titled

In May 2014, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin joked that he would return in a TU-160 after his plane was barred from Romania's airspace. Requesting an explanation, Romania's foreign ministry stated that "the threat of using a Russian strategic bomber plane by a Russian deputy prime minister is a very grave statement under the current regional context."[65] Rogozin has also stated that Russia's defence sector has "many other ways of travelling the world besides tourist visas" and "tanks don't need visas".[66] In September 2014, Russia's FSB crossed into Estonia and abducted Eston Kohver, an officer of the Estonian Internal Security Service. Brian Whitmore of Radio Free Europe stated that the case "illustrates the Kremlin's campaign to intimidate its neighbors, flout global rules and norms, and test NATO's defenses and responses."[67] In October 2014, Denmark's Defence Intelligence Service stated that in June of the same year Russian military jets "equipped with live missiles" had simulated an attack on the island of Bornholm as 90,000 people visited for the annual Folkemødet meeting.[68]

In 2009, Wprost reported that Russian military exercises had included a simulated nuclear attack on Poland.[62] In June 2012, Russian general Nikolay Makarov said that "cooperation between Finland and NATO threatens Russia's security. Finland should not desire NATO membership, rather it should preferably have closer military cooperation with Russia."[63] In response, Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen stated that "Finland will make its own decisions and [do] what is best for Finland. Such decisions will not be left to Russian generals."[63] In April 2013, Svenska Dagbladet reported that Russia simulated a bombing run in March on the Stockholm region and southern Sweden, using two Tu-22M3 Backfire heavy bombers and four Su-27 Flanker fighter jets.[64]

Allegations of Russian intimidation and destabilization of EU states

[61] Since 2012, a fund created by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Russia (Fund for the Legal Protection and Support of Russian Federation Compatriots Living Abroad) has transferred €224,000 to the "Latvian Human Rights Committee", which was founded by pro-Russian politician

In March 2015, the Russian nationalist party Golden Dawn) and others.[56][57][58]

In February 2015, a group of Spanish nationals was arrested in Madrid for joining a Russian-backed armed group in the war in Donbass. Travelling through Moscow, they were met by a "government official" and sent to Donetsk, where they saw French and other foreign fighters, "half of them communists, half Nazis".[55]

[54] Two new organisations — European Centre for Geopolitical Analysis and "Agency for Security and Cooperation in Europe" (ASCE) — recruiting mostly European far-right politicians, were also heavily involved in positive

The Financial Times and Radio Free Europe reported on Syriza's ties with Russia and extensive correspondence with Aleksandr Dugin, who called for a "genocide" of Ukrainians.[45][46] The EUobserver reported that Tsipras had a "pro-Russia track record" and that Syriza's MEPs had voted against the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement, criticism of the Russian annexation of Crimea, and criticism of the pressure on civil rights group Memorial.[47] The Moscow Times stated that "The terms used in Russia's anti-Europe rhetoric also seem to have infiltrated Tsipras' vocabulary."[48] Russia also developed ties with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (Fidesz), who praised Vladimir Putin's "illiberal democracy" and was described by Germany's former foreign minister Joschka Fischer as a "Putinist".[49] Hungary allowed a Russian billionaire to renovate a memorial in Budapest, which some Hungarians called illegal, to Soviet soldiers who died fighting against the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and Putin visited it in February 2015.[50] Orban's government dropped plans to put the expansion of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant out to tender and awarded the contract to Rosatom after Russia offered a generous loan.[51] Zoltán Illés said that Russia was "buying influence".[51]

In June 2015, Marine Le Pen launched a new political group within the EU Parliament, Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF), composed of members of the Front National, Party for Freedom, Lega Nord, the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), Flemish Interest (VB), the Congress of the New Right (KNP), and Vlaams Belang. Reviewing votes in the EU Parliament on resolutions critical of Russia or measures not in the Kremlin's interests (e.g., the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement), Hungary's Political Capital Institute found that the future ENF members voted "no" in 93% of cases, European United Left–Nordic Green Left in 78% of cases, and Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy in 67% of cases.[44] The writers stated that "It would therefore be logical to conclude, as others have done before, that there is a pro-Putin coalition in the European Parliament consisting of anti-EU and radical parties."[44]

Luke Harding wrote in The Guardian that the Front National's MEPs were a "pro-Russian bloc."[34] In 2014, the Nouvel Observateur said that the Russian government considered the Front National "capable of seizing power in France and changing the course of European history in Moscow's favour."[35] According to the French media, party leaders had frequent contact with Russian ambassador Alexander Orlov and Marine Le Pen made multiple trips to Moscow.[36][37] In November 2014, Marine Le Pen confirmed a €9 million loan from a Russian bank to the Front National.[38] The Independent said the loans "take Moscow's attempt to influence the internal politics of the EU to a new level."[39] Reinhard Bütikofer stated, "It's remarkable that a political party from the motherland of freedom can be funded by Putin's sphere - the largest European enemy of freedom."[40] Boris Kagarlitsky said, "If any foreign bank gave loans to a Russian political party, it would have been illegal, or at least it would have been an issue which could lead to a lot of scandal" and the party would be required to register as a "foreign agent."[41] Le Pen denied a Mediapart report that a senior Front National member said it was the first installment of a €40 million loan.[38][39][42] In April 2015, a Russian hacker group published texts and emails between Timur Prokopenko, a member of Putin's administration, and Konstantin Rykov, a former Duma deputy with ties to France, discussing Russian financial support to the Front National in exchange for its support of Russia's annexation of Crimea.[43]

Moscow increased its efforts to expand its political influence using a wide range of methods, including funding of political movements in Europe, operating a range of media broadcasting in EU languages[23][24] and European Union. Among the parties involved were Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), Alternative for Germany (AfD), National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), French National Front, Hungarian Jobbik, Bulgarian Attack (Ataka), Latvian Russian Union.[28][29][30] Konstantin Rykov and Timur Prokopenko, both closely tied to United Russia and Russian Federation’s Presidential Administration, were the key figures in funneling money to these parties.[31] Agence France-Presse stated that "From the far right to the radical left, populist parties across Europe are being courted by Russia's Vladimir Putin who aims to turn them into allies in his anti-EU campaign" and that "A majority of European populist parties have sided with Russia over Ukraine."[26] During the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, British politicians Nigel Farage of the far-right and Jeremy Corbyn of the far-left both defended Russia, saying the West had "provoked" it.[32][33]

Development of Russian political influence and financial links

Russia has also frequently criticised European countries for NATO expansion eastward into its sphere of influence and "moving its infrastructure closer to the Russian border". However, as noted by NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, NATO's presence in Eastern Europe has not increased since the end of the Cold War, while Russia itself has been increasing its military presence on its western and eastern borders.[22]

[21]. This action was condemned as an invasion by the European Union, which imposed visa bans and asset freezes against some Russian officials.military intervention in Ukraine leaving Ukraine for Russia in February 2014. Russia subsequently began a Viktor Yanukovych resulted in then-President Widespread protests in Ukraine [20]

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