Following years of an extremely dynamic development, Austria's economic relations with Eastern European countries – the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova – have been significantly affected by the crisis in the Ukraine and the economic sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia and Russia's counter sanctions since August 2014. Thus, the trade volume with this region reached only € 5.5 bn in 2016 after € 8.4 bn in 2013. 2017 saw a remarkable trend reversal with trade volume reaching € 6.3 bn and more than € 2.6 bn in the first five months of 2018.
Austrian-Russian traditionally excellent bilateral relations have been tangibly affected between 2014 and 2016 in the wake of the EU's restrictive measures, Russia's economic stagnation in connection with a decreased crude oil price and loss in purchasing power. Austrian exports suffered a decline by 8 percent in 2014 and 38.1percent in 2015 and a further decline by 4.8 percent in 2016. Since late 2016, Austrian exports to Russia display an upward trend again. In 2017, they rose by 16.1 percent and reached nearly € 2.2 bn. In the first five months of 2018, exports decreased minimally by 3.7 percent.
Current information by the EU can be looked up at
For an overview of sanctions, also refer to
Ukraine remains Austria's second most important partner in the Eastern European market. After a decrease in Austrian exports to Ukraine 2014 and 2015, an upward trend is noticeable: Exports rose by 19.8 percent in 2016 and reached € 401.8 mn. In 2017, they rose by nearly 16 percent to € 465.5 mn. Bilateral trade volume amounted to € 1.1 bn in 2017, and Austria's exports rose by further 8.2 percent in the first five months of 2018.
For current EU-Ukraine developments refer to
Moreover, the Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus are part of the Eastern Partnership, an EU-level initiative launched in May 2009 with the aim of enhancing political and economic ties between the EU and these countries. The conclusion of EU Association Agreements and the related establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the partner countries are of special interest to Austrian business and industry. The Association Agreement with Moldova entered into force on 1 July 2016 and the Association Agreement with Ukraine on 1 September 2017. "Partnership Priorities" EU-Belarus are currently under preparation.