Trade and Investment Relations
Bilateral trade relations between Canada and Russia have expanded significantly over the last fourteen years, with bilateral merchandise trade between the two counties going from $179 million in 1999 to approximately $2.65 billion in 2012. Canadian merchandise exports, valued at approximately $1.65 billion for the same year, included meat, machinery and equipment, vehicles, fish and seafood, precision and technical instruments. Imports from Russia were valued at almost $1.0 billion and consisted mainly of mineral fuels and oil, fertilizers, precious stones and metals, rubber, and iron and steel. Canadian direct investment in Russia was valued at $4.8 billion in 2012.
Sectors with significant opportunities for Canadian companies include: agriculture; mining, oil and gas; construction and infrastructure; and aerospace and space. Moreover, interest exists in developing commercial opportunities in the Arctic and the North.
Canada and Russia have a productive relationship as vast, resource-rich northern countries. The two nations address political, economic and northern specific issues within the framework of the United Nations, the G-8, the G-20, the Arctic Council, the NATO-Russia Council and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Canada is officially represented in Russia by an Embassy in Moscow, as well as an Honorary Consulate in Vladivostok.
The Russian Federation maintains an Embassy in Ottawa, and consulates in both Toronto and Montréal, as well as an Honorary Consulate in Vancouver.
Canada follows the human rights situation in Russia very closely. A number of human rights developments are of concern, including the recent legislation banning the promotion of homosexuality. These developments are troubling and Canada has raised its concerns directly with Russian authorities. The promotion of Canadian values has been and will continue to be featured prominently in our ongoing dialogue with Russia.
Recent High Level Visits
High level meetings between Canadian and Russian representatives occur regularly. Former President Dmitry Medvedev traveled to Canada to participate in the G-8 and G‑20 Summits in June 2010, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Vladimir Putin met during the APEC Summit in Vladivostok, Russia, in September 2012. During that Summit, a meeting also took place between Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway Ed Fast visited Moscow in June 2013 for the ninth session of the Canada-Russia Intergovernmental Economic Commission (IEC), which he co-chaired with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. The IEC is a major bilateral intergovernmental forum to advance the Canada-Russia commercial relationship. The eighth session of the IEC took place in Ottawa in 2011, and was co-chaired by Minister Fast and then-First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov.
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz has visited Russia several times - most recently accompanying Minister Fast in June 2013 - in order to expand agricultural trade and cooperation between both countries.
In June 2012, Minister Fast led a trade mission to Russia, where he was accompanied by representatives from nearly 30 Canadian companies. During that visit, the Minister also attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade, held in Kazan, Russia, and undertook a bilateral program.