International Cooperation

EPA Collaboration with Russia

Comprising a significant part of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, Russia is the world’s largest country. It holds the greatest reserves of mineral resources and is the most abundant in mineral fuels. It may hold as much as half of the world's remaining coal reserves and even larger reserves of petroleum and natural gas.

Russia also contains most of the world’s nonferrous metals and iron-ore deposits. Other raw materials are abundant as well. Forty-six percent of the land is covered with forests and woodland, and a significant area is used for agriculture, including pastures.

Russia holds one fourth of the world’s fresh surface and groundwater. Therefore it is not surprising that Russia’s rapidly growing industrial activities and environmental policies have significant global consequences.

EPA’s Main Activities in Russia Include: 


Additional information about past activities in Russia is available in EPA's website archive.

Partnership with the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission Environment Working Group (EWG)

In the past year, cooperation between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE) reached new heights, opening opportunities to engage new partners -- the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Russian Ministry of Economic Development -- in exploring commercial opportunities to address environmental problems. 

2013 annual report of the Bilateral Presidential Commission

The U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission was established by President Obama and President Medvedev on July 6, 2009 to strengthen the relationship between the US and Russia. The Environment Working Group (EWG) of the Presidential Commission is co-chaired by the US Department of State and the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

EPA’s accomplishments under the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission are featured in the 2013 annual report of the Bilateral Presidential Commission.

Bilateral Presidential Commission official announcements:

Bilateral Cooperation on Management of Contaminated Sites

Experts from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation and the US Environmental Protection Agency meet in Moscow in March 2013.
Both the United States and Russia understand the many negative impacts of heavily polluted sites on the health and safety of nearby populations, as well as those downstream, downwind, and even across national boundaries. 
The US implemented its Superfund program to address large scale environmental contamination in our country. Superfund has successfully initiated and completed many restoration projects.
Now Russia is developing its own comprehensive legislation to vigorously address contaminated sites by establishing specific federal programs which will enable a more aggressive – and more immediate – cleanup. Under the Environmental Working Group, EPA and the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment are exchanging experiences and lessons learned and evaluating their approaches to the management of contaminated sites.  Joint activities are outlined in the joint workplan.

Bilateral Cooperation on Black Carbon Emission in the Russian Arctic 

Under the Black Carbon Diesel Initiative, EPA is partnering with government agencies; US Arctic and Russian NGOs; Russian and Arctic stakeholders; indigenous communities and observer groups to assess diesel sources of black carbon in the Arctic and develop emission inventories, demonstration projects, policy recommendations and financing options to address the environmental and public health challenges caused by black carbon in the Arctic.

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Russian Arctic

Because of its unique fragile ecosystem and its impacts on all of the Arctic (including Alaska), EPA is focusing several efforts on the Russian Arctic, through the Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP).  Information about the past National Plan of Action for the Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment may be found by searching the EPA archive.

Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP) 

EPA works in the Russian Arctic region through the Arctic Contaminants Action Program (ACAP), a program of the Arctic Council. As part of ACAP, EPA plays a leadership role in the Black Carbon and Short-Lived Climate Forcers Project Steering Group (BCSCF/PSG), through which EPA works on the reduction of black carbon from diesel sources in the Russian Arctic
In addition, EPA also works to reduce mercury use and exposure in the Russian Arctic through the Mercury Project Steering Group, and works to improve environmental and public health conditions of indigenous peoples in the Russian Arctic through the Indigenous Peoples Contaminants Action Program Project Steering Group.

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Research and Science

The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) Exit provides former weapons scientists (FWS) from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) with new opportunities for sustainable, peaceful employment. ISTC coordinates the efforts of numerous governments, international organizations, and private sector industries.

Activities fall in two broad categories:

  1. Research projects, which employ scientists in the development of new science and technology (S&T), and
  2. Supplemental programs, which include workshops and other events to integrate FWS in the global S&T and industrial communities; training; and commercialization support initiatives.

The US EPA has been an ISTC Partner since 2001. 

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Global Methane Initiative

The Global Methane Initiative (GMI) Exit is an international public-private initiative that advances cost effective, near-term methane recovery and use as a clean energy source in four sectors: agriculture, coal mines, landfills, and oil and gas systems. 
The Russian Federation joined the Global Methane Initiative (GMI) as one of the charter members in November 2004. The EPA has been actively working in Russia in the landfill, oil and gas, and coal sectors since 2005, providing technical and project development assistance, capacity building and training, and workshop facilitation. 
These projects reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the near term and provide a number of important environmental and economic co-benefits such as:
  • Stimulating local economic growth 
  • Creating new sources of affordable alternative energy 
  • Improving local air and water quality, with associated public health benefits, and 
  • Increasing industrial worker safety.
A complete list of activities in these sectors Exitis available on the website of the Global Methane Initiative.  

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  • June 1994: Agreement of Cooperation in the Field of Protection of the Environment and Natural Resources
  • May 1972: Cooperation in Environmental Protection

These Environmental Agreements with Russia may be downloaded here.


For additional information about EPA's work with Russia, contact:
Office of International and Tribal Affairs (2610R)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460