Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 23

An interim agreement between Russia and the European Union came into force today. Both sides believe the agreement is likely to foster increased trade. Under the agreement, the EU gains improved access to Russian markets for such products as cars and alcoholic beverages while an entire range of import restrictions on European goods is curtailed. Effective enforcement of intellectual, industrial, and commercial rights is also expected. In turn, Russia wins abolition of several quantitative restrictions on its exports and a reduction of certain EU commercial instruments, such as anti-dumping procedures. The interim trade agreement relates to portions of the broader, June 1994 Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Russia. That agreement is aimed at intensifying "political, commercial, and cultural relations between parties" and at "underpinning the reform process in Russia." The broader agreement will come into force only after ratification by the parliaments of Russia and European Union member states. (5)

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