The volume of trade between Russia and the European Union (EU) has been steadily growing since the beginning of 2017 despite mutual sanctions introduced almost five years ago, said Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov.
“Since the beginning of 2017, mutual trade between Russia and the European Union’s countries showed a tendency towards dynamic growth, which consolidated this year,” the envoy told Izvestia newspaper.
He cited statistics that in the first three quarters of 2018, trade turnover between Russia and the EU increased by 21.5 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.
Russian exports to the EU countries increased by almost 30 percent while imports are up by 7.4 percent.
According to the diplomat the trade volume has already exceeded 2014 figures when Western anti-Russia sanctions were introduced.
“The current growth, in fact, shows mainly recovery. Meanwhile, Russia’s trade with a number of EU member states, such as Portugal, Belgium, Ireland, Cyprus, Denmark, Romania, has already exceeded the figures for 2012,” Chizhov said.
The diplomat noted that the rising prices for energy commodities, which form the basis of Russian exports to the EU, as well as currency fluctuations were among the major factors of positive dynamics.
“However, the main prerequisite, in my opinion, is a natural return of EU-Russia trade to a level that corresponds to the degree of interpenetration of our economies, in accordance with normal commercial logic and despite the rash political demarches of the West,” Chizhov concluded.
Russia is the third largest exporter to the EU and the bloc’s fifth biggest importer.