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MOSCOW, May 7. /TASS/. Russia still remains the third biggest trade partner of the European Union after the United States and China, says a Foreign Ministry review of Russia’s foreign policy and diplomatic activity in 2014, posted on the ministry’s website on Thursday.
"Relations with European countries in 2014 went through a major test within the context of a deep domestic political crisis in Ukraine that acted as a catalyst, worsening the earlier accumulated contradictions, and triggered the emergence of new points of divergence," the document said.
"The European Union brought up unsubstantiated accusations against Russia in connection with the Ukrainian domestic crisis and embarked on a course of political and economic pressure on our country in close coordination with the United States," the review said.
"Work was suspended on most cooperation directions, and unilateral sanctions were imposed stage-by-stage against some domestic companies, financial institutions as well as social and political activists, along with sectorial economic restrictions," it said.
"Russia, for its part, had to draw up a ‘stop-list’ comparable in scope and level against concrete persons from different institutions of the European Union and its member countries, impose restrictive measures on supplies of agricultural products from some EU countries for a period of one year, as well as revise certain aspects of cooperation in the energy sector," it continued.
"All this predictably resulted in a growth of mutual claims and a decline in trade between Russia and the EU by 9.7% by the end of the year (from $414.7 billion in 2013 to $377.3 billion in 2014) with Russia retaining foreign trade surplus," it continued.
"However, Russia still remains at the moment the third biggest trade partner of the European Union (after US and China), while the EU remains Russia’s biggest foreign trade partner, with its share in Russian foreign trade amounting to 48.2%," the document said.