The value of Russian merchandise exports to European Union countries amounted to ?42.5 billion in January-April, according to Europe's statistical office Eurostat.
Russia was among the top three exporters to the union during the period, after China (€139.4 billion) and the United States (€71.4 billion).
Statistics showed that the volume of Russian exports in the first four months of this year increased by 12.4% year-on-year to €37.8 billion. The volume of merchandise exports from EU countries to Russia also increased, by 7.3% to €27.8 billion.
Trade and business relations between Russia and the European Union have worsened since the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions by Brussels in 2014 over the political events in Ukraine. Moscow has responded with countersanctions, banning a range of European products and launching an import substitution program.
Politicians from European countries have repeatedly called for the punitive measures to be canceled as they have become a major hurdle for business and economic growth.
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