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Russia stands to renewal of partnership with EU — foreign ministry

April 26, 2016, 20:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Russia’s trade with European Union countries shrank in 2015 by 37%

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© Dmitriy Burlakov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. Russia stands for the renewal of parameters of partner relations with the European Union, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a review of Russia’s foreign policy activities in 2015 that was posted on its website on Tuesday.

"Most of areas of bilateral cooperation with the European Union stayed frozen in 2015," the ministry said. "Trade, financial and economic and other restrictions that were imposed not through Russia’s initiative and harmful for both sides stayed in place."

Russia, according to the foreign ministry, preserved readiness for establishing mutually beneficial, future-oriented cooperation with the European Union and its member states however no return to a stable track of development of relations with them took place.

Despite the intense trilateral consultations between Russia, the European Union and Ukraine at the expert and political levels, no compromise was reached on settling Russia’s concerns over the enforcement of the free trade zone under the Ukraine-EU association agreement from January 1, 2016.

"No official reply has been received to the message of chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission Viktor Khristenko to President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker with an initiative to launch dialogue between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the European Union," the ministry said. "In their public rhetoric, representatives of the European Commission and individual EU member states keep on voicing the political course towards rejection of closer relations with the EAEU until the Minsk agreements are implemented."

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Russia’s trade with European Union countries shrank in 2015 by 37%, to $235.7 billion. Russia’s exports dropped by 36.1%, to $165.6 billion and imports from the European Union decreased by 40.8%, to $70.1 billion. Nevertheless, the European Union remains Russia’s biggest trade partner accounting for 44.8% on Russia’s foreign trade in 2015 (48.2% of exports and 38.4% of imports).

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