OFFTA was part of the general cooperation between the three countries of the Baltic Assembly, modelled on Nordic cooperation (see Nordic Council). In addition to the free trade area, they have established a common visa zone. Heads of state and government continue to meet regularly, but the Assembly is now focusing on international issues, including economic development and military cooperation due to its proximity to Russia.  The EU shares its internal market with three EFTA members on the European Economic Area agreement and the rest of the EFTA member, Switzerland, on bilateral agreements. The European Union (EU) has always created more than one free trade area with its predecessor, the European Economic Community (EEC), as a customs union. The EU has free trade agreements at different levels with most other European countries. In 2010, Russia established a customs union with Kazakhstan and Belarus. This customs union became the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in 2015. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joined the EAEU the same year.
The EAEU has legal jurisdiction in many trade-related policy areas, such as customs, competition, trade defence and industrial products regulation, intellectual property rights and foreign trade policy. The BAFTA agreement was signed by the three states on 13 September 1993 and came into force on 1 April 1994. On 1 January 1997, the agreement was extended to trade in agricultural products. On 1 May 2004, the three Member States of the European Union joined the European Union and the BAFTAs ceased to exist. The Commonwealth of Independent States negotiated a CIS free trade area in 1994 and eight countries agreed on the creation of a free trade area in 2011. These are; Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia and Moldova. In addition, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan form the Eurasian Economic Union, including a customs union and an internal market. The aim of this study was to analyse the impact of a possible free trade agreement between the EU and Russia and to examine options ranging from flat liberalisation based solely on the abolition of tariffs to a comprehensive free trade agreement including harmonisation of legislation and changes in domestic policy, such as energy reform.
The report contains a debate on the current trade and economic relations between the EU and Russia, non-tariff barriers and barriers to cross-border service provision and foreign direct investment in Russia. The economic impact of different free trade agreement scenarios is assessed on the basis of a predictable overall equilibrium model. This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the likely effects of a free trade agreement between the EU and Russia on the parties concerned and their trading partners. Anticipating the resumption of NBA negotiations after a long pause by the EU, Russia is trying to emphasize the need to reflect new realities in the future agreement, such as Russia`s accession to the WTO and the active process under Eurasian economic integration. Both Russia and the EU have undergone major political, economic and social changes since the signing of the APC. The new agreement should reflect these changes and thus provide a new quality to our relations. The Russian side believes that the new agreement will create a stronger legal basis for relations between Russia and the EU, confirm our common commitment to the fundamental principles of intergovernmental relations and take our cooperation to a higher level of partnership. A third factor affecting trade relations with Russia is that of political measures to limit trade, i.e. sanctions. In July 2014, in response to Russia`s responsibility for the events in Ukraine, the EU adopted economic sanctions against Russia, which target four sectors: access to finance, weapons, dual-use goods and specific oil extraction and exploration technologies.