Apart from engaging within multilateral frameworks, the EU and Russia should strive towards establishing a structured dialogue on shaping the future of energy-related economic and trade relations. Building upon first results of this dialogue, both sides should then aim at developing their cooperation. Climate policy measures, such as carbon pricing, could become part of this structured cooperation. By following a three-step approach and depending on the overall state of relations, the initial structured dialogue could, in the medium term, develop into a fully-fledged partnership with its own institutions.
Step 1: The cooperation could kick off with a bilateral dialogue. This "Russia-EU climate change and economic relations dialogue" could start at a non-official level and, additionally and to a lesser extent, in the framework of suitable official work formats, where exchange currently continues (for instance, the Gas Advisory Council). The non-official group would involve mainly think tank and NGO experts, as well as business associations and possibly trade unions from Russia and EU member states. It should be checked whether members of parliaments and officials from Russian and EU member state regions as well as the municipal level could be included from the beginning. The group would need a secretariat. It should meet regularly over the course of at least 2 years and aim to formulate joint recommendations. Discussions would focus on decarbonisation and energy scenarios as well as the trade and cooperation potential of renewable energy technology or other low/zero-carbon materials and products. The priority goal of the dialogue would be, on the one hand, to reduce uncertainty about energy demands in the EU and, on the other, to look at Russia's carbon-neutral energy (technology) export potential. Ideally, it would also discuss tangible options on how Russian-EU cooperation could be developed in this regard.