Excerpts from the Concept of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation enacted by President Vladimir Putin on 30 November 2016
63. For Russia, the European Union remains an important partner in trade and economy as well as in foreign policy. The Russian Federation is interested in developing constructive, stable and predictable cooperation with EU member states based on the principles of equality and mutual respect of interests. Further development of relations with the European Union requires improvement of both legal basis and institutional mechanisms of cooperation with a view to achieving mutual benefit and optimal ways to build partnership ties, inter alia in the field of energy. A strategic task in the relations with the European Union is formation of a common economic and humanitarian space from the Atlantic to the Pacific on the basis of harmonisation and convergence of the processes of European and Eurasian integration which will allow to avoid an emergence of dividing lines on the European continent.
64. The Russian Federation is willing to sustain an intensive and mutually beneficial dialogue with the EU on key foreign policy issues and to further develop practical foreign policy and military policy cooperation. There is a potential for intensification of joint Russia-EU efforts in combating terrorism, uncontrolled and illegal migration as well as organised crime, including such manifestations as human trafficking, illicit trafficking in drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, arms and explosive substances, and cybercrime.
65. Visa regime remains one of the main barriers to developing contacts between Russia and the EU. Gradual abolition of the visa regime on a mutual basis will provide a powerful impetus to strengthening Russia-EU cooperation in the economic, humanitarian, cultural, educational and other spheres.