The Russian Federation's role in the Ukraine conflict has seriously affected EU-Russia relations. Consequently, some of the activities outlined below are at a halt and sanctions have been adopted.
Russia is the EU's biggest neighbour and its third biggest trading partner. Supplies of oil and gas make up a large proportion of the country's exports to Europe.
Legal basis for cooperation
The current basis for cooperation is the 1994 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA).
Negotiations on a new EU-Russia Agreement were launched at the 2008 Khanty-Mansiysk summit. The new agreement should:
Ongoing EU-Russia cooperation covers 4 policy areas – referred to as common spaces:
Partnership for Modernisation
Established following the 2010 Rostov Summit, the Partnership for Modernisation covers all aspects of modernisation – economic, technical (including standards and regulations), the rule of law, and the functioning of the judiciary. It has become a focal point for cooperation, reinforcing dialogue initiated in the context of the common spaces. For details, see the latest progress report .
Recent Partnership initiatives include:
The EU and Russia have a long record of cooperation on issues of bilateral and international concern including climate change, drug and human trafficking, organized crime, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, the Middle East peace process, and Iran.
In response to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and continuing destabilisation of Ukraine - including aggression by Russian armed forces on Ukrainian soil - the EU has suspended talks on visas and a new EU-Russia agreement. Most EU-Russia cooperation programmes have been suspended.
Targeted measures have been taken against Russia in areas including:
The European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have suspended the signing of new financing operations in Russia.
A trade and investment ban is now in force for Crimea/Sevastopol, bolstering measures taken to mark the EU's non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea. Furthermore, a number of individuals and bodies in Russia and Ukraine are subject to travel bans, and their assets have been frozen.
Russia has taken retaliatory measures, including a ban on the import of certain foods from the EU and several non-EU countries.