Many countries have signed an Association Agreement of the European Union (AA) with free trade agreements. These include the Mediterranean countries (Algeria 2005, Egypt 2004, Israel in 2000, Jordan in 2002, Lebanon 2006, Morocco 2000, Palestinian Authority in 1997 and Tunisia in 1998), although some countries of other trading blocs have also signed one (such as Chile in 2003, Mexico in 2000 and South Africa in 2000). The common economic area aims to create an open and integrated market between the EU and Russia. This space aims to remove barriers to trade and investment and promote reforms and competitiveness based on the principles of non-discrimination, transparency and good governance. Agreements have been reached on other issues, such as the abolition of taxes on EU flights over Siberia. Russia and the EU are both members of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The EU and Russia are currently setting up common spaces (see below) and negotiations to replace the current Partnership and Cooperation Agreement to strengthen bilateral trade. [201] We live in an unequal world where the descripts of global inequality – particularly income inequality – are abundant. «The 500 richest people in the world have a greater common income than the poorest 416 million… 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day» (Watkins et al., 2005: 18). Researchers and policy makers continue to discuss how and how inequality trends are changing, but in all cases the differences between rich and poor are striking (Firebaugh, 2003; Milanovic, 2005; The Economist, 2006; Hero and Kaya, 2007; Lobao et al., 2007).

In the recent past, there has also been rapid economic globalization, characterized by supranational territorial integration of economies and societies (Stiglitz, 2002). Globalization has intensified the flow of goods, finances, people and political/cultural interactions across our planet (Mittelman, 2002). Dicken, 2007). Understanding the nature and links between globalization and inequality is essential, as there are many differences in access to needs such as housing, land, food and clean water, sustainable livelihoods, technology and information. Inequality in all of these areas poses challenges to human security and environmental sustainability. Clearly, Donald Trump has raised the possibility of denouncing various trade agreements, including Nafta, the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. Even the World Trade Organization (WTO) has proposed new barriers to imports. When a country moves resources to produce more than one good, there is what economists call an «opportunity cost» when it comes to how much less can be done. They have a comparative advantage in manufacturing a product when the cost is lower than in another country. The dialogue was temporarily frozen by the EU in March 2014, during the 2014 Crime crisis. [217] In 2015, Jean-Maurice Ripert, France`s current ambassador to Russia, said that France would be interested in the abolition of short-term visas for Russians; In 2016, The Spanish Minister of Industry, José Manuel Soria, made a similar statement on behalf of Spain.

[Citation required] In June 2016, the EEAS released a Russian-language video describing the conditions for visa exemption. [218] In the same year, a number of EU officials, including the head of the EEAS` Russia division, Fernando Andresen Guimarées, said they would resume negotiations for the abolition of the visa requirement; [219] Czech President Milos Zeman also called for visa exemption for Russians. [220] On 24 May 2016, the German think tank DGAP published a report entitled «The Eastern Question: Recommendations for Western Policy», which discussed the renewed Western strategy towards Russia in the wake of rising tensions between the Putin regime and the EU.