Russia is the EU’s third biggest trade partner, with Russian supplies of oil and gas making up a large percentage of Russia’s exports to Europe. The Ongoing cooperation is based on 4 specific policy areas. These “common spaces”, cover economic issues & the environment; Freedom, Security & Justice; External Security; and Research & Education, including cultural aspects.
The EU has in place a programme of financial cooperation that has evolved over time to support the achievement of common objectives.
The EU and Russia co-operate on dealing with a number of challenges, both at international level, as well as in our common neighbourhood. These include climate change, drug and human trafficking, organised crime, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, the Middle East Peace Process, and Iran.
The EU and Russia concluded a Partnership and Co-operation Agreement in 1994. The June 2008 Summit between EU and the Russian Federation saw the launch of negotiations on a new EU-Russia agreement. The EU and the Russian Federation have made a number of commitments to human rights and democratic standards, notably in the Council of Europe and the OSCE, and respect for these standards will need to be reflected.
The first round of negotiations took place in July 2008; following the Russia/Georgia conflict the EU postponed the second round pending withdrawal of Russian troops to positions held prior to August 7.