Since Russia's accession to the CoE in February 1996, the main objective of co-operation activities has been to support the country in fulfilling its statutory obligations and providing the necessary assistance to help bring Russian legislation, institutions and practice into line with European standards in the areas of human rights, the rule of law and democracy.
The ongoing co-operation between the Council of Europe and Russia is carried out under "Priorities for co-operation with the Russian Federation 2011-2012", endorsed at the Council of Europe/Russian Federation Steering Committee meeting held on 15 October 2010 in Moscow.
The priority co-operation areas are based on the exchange of views on the country's needs and priorities, on the joint assessment of ongoing co-operation, the recommendations of the Committee of Ministers (CM), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Commissioner for Human Rights and other Council of Europe monitoring bodies.
Russia is committed to continuing co-operation with the Council of Europe, which should take into account the Modernisation Agenda of the country in high priority areas such as the reinforcement of the rule of law, civil society, human rights, criminal justice, legal and judicial reform, the execution of court judgments, public administration and e-governance, the fight against corruption, money laundering, terrorism, the use and trafficking of illegal drugs and counterfeit medication.
The Russian Federation continues to support the priorities set out in the areas of social cohesion, culture, education, youth and sport.
The Council of Europe Programme Office in Moscow officially started its activities on 29 October 2013. Its status is based on the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 14 June 2011 and its objective is to implement programmes of co-operation between the Russian Federation and the Council of Europe.