The European Union remains the leading trade partner of the Russian Federation. The EU Мember States account for the moment 42.7 per cent of the total Russian turnover. In the period between 2004 and 2012 Russia-EU turnover increased more than 2.5 times and reached record of 338.5 billion euros in 2012. Since 2013 the trade in goods showed a decrease. So in 2016 the turnover was 191.1 billion euros and thus contracted by 9 per cent compared with 2015; the Russian exports amounted 118.7 and the Russian imports - 72.4 billion euros. However since the beginning of 2017 the EU-Russia turnover started to recover rapidly and in January –September 2017 amounted 172.3 billion euros which is 24.8 per cent more as for the same period last year. The structure of trade in goods remains almost unchanged. In 2017 raw materials (first of all, mineral fuels) accounted for the major share of Russian exports to the EU, with Russia’s imports consisting mainly of machinery and transport equipment, chemicals and related products, and various manufactured goods.

In August 2012 Russia became the 156th member of the WTO. After the accession in accordance with its obligations Russia started to reduce rates of its import duties from an average 10.0 to 7.8 per cent. In such a key sector as automotive industry, import duties will be gradually reduced from 30 to 15 per cent within the seven-year transitional period after the accession. It is estimated that the reduction of import duties will enable the EU exporters to save up to 2.5 billion euros annually.

Russia-EU trade in 2010-2017

(bln. euros)

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Jan.-Sept. 2016 Jan.-Sept. 2017    
Russian exports 162,1 201,3 215,1 207,0 182,4 136,4 118,7 85,3 108,3    
Russian imports 86,3 108,6 123,4 119,5 103,2 73,7 72,4 52,7 64,0    
Trade turnover 248,4 309,9 338,5 326,5 285,6 210,1 191,1 138,0 172,3    
Trade balance +75,8 +92,7 +91,7 +87,5 +79,2 +62,7 +46,3 +32,6 +44,3    

Source: Eurostat