Russia's trade ties with Europe

Russia has close economic ties with the UK and the rest of the EU so any trade and financial sanctions are likely to hurt both sides. Find out more about which countries do the most business with Russia in the series of charts below.

The EU ranks as Russia's number one trading partner, accounting for almost 41% of all trade.

Trade between the two economies has grown steadily and reached record levels in 2012.

Chart: Russia's top trading partners
EU trade

EU exports to Russia are dominated by machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, medicines and agricultural products.

Imports to the EU from Russia are dominated by crude oil and gas. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), European countries import 84% of Russia's oil exports, and about 76% of its natural gas.

Germany is the single biggest importer of Russian oil and gas, while the UK buys about 6% of Russia's gas.

The US is also an important trading partner for Russia. In 2013, the value of its imports was $26.9bn, more than double the value of its exports. The US imports about 5% of Russian oil.

EU trade with Russia - chart showing imports and exports

Biggest traders

Most EU member states show trade deficits with Russia, the largest in 2012 being the Netherlands with a -21bn euro deficit.

The highest surpluses were recorded by Denmark and Slovenia.

Around 85% of exports to Russia consisted of manufactured goods, while energy accounted for more than three quarters of imports, according to data from Eurostat (PDF).

Chart: EU trade with Russia by country
UK trade

Russia ranks as 14th in a list of the UK's main trading partners for exports and 16th for imports, according to HM Revenue and Customs figures for 2013.

The UK imports more goods from Russia than it exports. From 2001-11 UK goods and services imports from Russia rose by just over 270%, while exports to Russia rose by 430%.

In 2013 Russia was the second biggest export destination, outside of the EU, for cars built in the UK - accounting for 9.5% of all vehicle exports.

The UK also supplies business and financial services, worth almost £1.7bn in 2011.

UK trade with Russia - imports and exports
Russian investment

The UK also benefits from Russian investment, which in 2011 amounted to $11bn. It was the sixth biggest beneficiary of Russian investment - Cyprus received the most at $122bn. Investments in Cyprus originate from Russian businesses taking advantage of the country's financial system and favourable tax conditions.

According to the United Nations (UNCTAD) Russia was the eighth biggest investor economy in 2012 - the US came top, the UK was fifth.

The UK also has investments in Russia - in the form of BP oil. The company has an almost 20% share in the biggest Russian oil producer, Rosneft, which, in turn, generates profits for the British-owned company.

British firms have been encouraged to explore new trade opportunities with Russia. According to a report from December 2012, more than 600 UK companies were operating in Russia.

In January 2014, the body UK Trade and Investment announced it was widening its remit to encourage Russian companies to set up in the UK.

An official document, photographed as a senior official carried it into a meeting in Downing Street in March 2014, said the UK "should not support for now trade sanctions or close London's financial centre to Russians".

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cerro RicoSatanic mines

    Devil worship in the tunnels of the man-eating mountain


  • Nefertiti MenoeWar of words

    The woman who sparked a row over 'speaking white'


  • Oil pumpPump change

    What would ending the US oil export ban do to petrol prices?


  • Brazilian Scene, Ceara, in 1893Sir Snapshot

    19th Century Brazil seen through the eyes of an Englishman


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • Prof Piot, the first person to indentify Ebola virusHARDtalk Watch

    Ebola expert warns travellers could spread the disease further if it is not contained

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.