Defending its rights or testing the limits?
This chapter explains the experiences with mutual trade and provides an overview of the historical development of trade relations between Russia and Europe. It introduces the relevant legal frameworks regulating trade between Russia and the European Union (EU), particularly to the rules provided by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The chapter provides a careful analysis of the present relationship and potential future developments. Following the cold war, the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics led to a reorientation of the relations between the EU and Russia. In addition, the realignment of the former Soviet republics had a considerable impact on Russia's position in world politics. Despite Russia's importance in world politics, relatively little has been written on the history of Russia in international trade and its legal regulation. Despite its late start as the 156th WTO member, Russia almost immediately became an active participant and user of the Organizations' dispute settlement system.