Being the biggest country in the world in terms of surface area, and the fact that its population is nearly 25% of the pre-Brexit EU are factors as to why Russia is not part of the EU. For Russia to join the EU would be a difficult task, as it would be a big task for EU to handle, could only be possible if the budgets are reworked, or when if EU decides to cut expenses from other member countries.
Other determining factors are that the European Union puts forth some very strict policies and criteria for joining, from economic, political, and military considerations. Russia has always been a country which believes in its own set of rules and regulations, and it’s quite possible that it would not want to subject to EU policies on inflation rate, budget deficit, democracy, or gay and human rights.
Continuing the industrial changes that Russia would have to initiate another determining factor is that
There are also faces some industrial challenges, the EU holds very strict trade, agricultural, and ecological regulations which Russia would never be able to qualify for, especially in the context of its automobiles industry. Russia would have to scrap most of its currently used automobiles, and many such industries would further incur the cost of the economy.
Additionally, any EU member state has the sole right to veto Russian participation, and chances are high that the Baltic states and/or Poland would exercise that right. Superpowers like The USA and China, are also skeptical to have Russia as a EU member because it will dramatically change the geopolitical balance within Europe.
On the reverse, Russia may have its own reason for not wanted to join the EU. Russia’s anti-EU and anti-western rhetoric, especially concerning gay rights, political, and economics, are potential factors that could influence Russia to not become a part of the EU.
There are strong factors determining Russia’s non-participation in the EU, but there are also strong factors in favor as well. Despite the increased tensions between both, the fact that Russia is EU’s fourth largest trading partner, and that EU is Russia’s biggest trading partner remains solid. According to statistics from the European Commission, the total trade between the two was nearly $250 billion (€209 billion) in 2015. Russia is also very strategic to Europe, as it is the main source of oil and gas for EU members.
Known to be a country that has shown aggression, the primary issue hurting the relationship between the EU and Russia today, is the Ukraine controversy. Russia’s invasion and subsequent annexation of Crimea is considered shocking and inexcusable to many around the globe.
A Russian EU membership could serve to revitalize the EU, and in return it would help modernize Russia, and potentially curb Russia’s abuse toward itself and other less powerful countries.