Spatial-economic-ecological model for the assessment of the Russian Federation's sustainability policies

The SUSTRUS project team developed and implemented an integrated spatial-economic-ecological model for Russia, which represents state-of-the-art modelling in various areas of economics, transport, resource-use and the environment.

The aim of the model was:

  • To close the gap between Russian, European and international state-of-the-art tools and practices in the assessment of sustainability policies
  • To provide Russian policy makers with a sustainability indicator set linked either to individual policy measures or to their packages. Each sustainability indicator belongs to either a social, economic or environmental area and is calculated using the SUST-RUS modelling tool
  • To assist Russian and European policymakers and the international community in their choice of medium and long-term sustainability policies

Sustainability is a complex notion and consists of social, economic and environmental dimensions. The SUST-RUS consortium worked at all three dimensions of sustainability and incorporated them into the modelling tool. We started from the standard general economic modelling framework and elaborated it further by including the environmental and social dimensions in accordance with state-of-the-art European and international approaches.

Given the large geographic area of Russia and strong differences between the economic and social structure of its regions it was important to incorporate the regional dimension into the policy assessment framework. For that purpose, the new economic geography methodology was chosen as a basis for the model construction. The present quality of statistical data for the Russian Federation allowed the researchers to split the country into seven federal districts according to its administrative divisions.

The project produced the following:

  • A literature review, preceding the mathematical formulation of the SUST-RUS model (D1.1)
  • A modelling methodology based on reviewed state-of-the-art models. The core model structure was described in the second deliverable (D1.2)
  • The second project deliverable was the generation of a raw dataset containing all the economic data to create the model baseline for 2006, balance the dataset on the regional level and possibly update the database in the future (D2.1,D2.2)
  • The mathematical basis of the model was reported in the third deliverable, including all relevant derivations necessary to implement the core economic module (D3)
  • A consistent system of output indicators, based on a literature review of sustainability indicators (D4)
  • The core model (D5) augmented by environmental, social and international modules. All model dimensions can interact and pieces of the model can be activated or deactivated depending on the policy (D8)
  • Sensitivity analysis of the modelling results (D9.1)
  • A number of politically relevant policy simulations (D9.2)

Finally the SUST-RUS integrated model, programmed in GAMS modelling code, was fully realized and is available as the project deliverable D9.3. The full dataset coupled to the model contains balanced regional social accounting matrices classified according to an ISIC official disaggregation in 32 sectors; balanced trade flows in goods and services; energy consumption and supply; international trade and taxes; FDI and capital flows; social and household data; labour market data and emissions.



December 15, Christophe Heyndrickx gave 2 presentations at the SUSTRUS conference about 'Results from a sustainability model for Russia' (presentation for the policy makers - same presentation in Russian - presentation for the scientific committee)

Following the accession of Russia to the WTO, TML calculated in cooperation with CEFIR (RU) and ZEW (DE), the effects of the accession on the main socio-economic indicators.
The SUSTRUS model was used to calculate these effects on the short term (1 to 2 years) and long term (5 to 6 years). The conclusion was that the purchasing power of consumers can increase from 0.5 up to 1.5%, but with a possible decrease in the growth of domestic production from 0.1% up to 0.5% on short term.
Specifically the food, chemical and light industry sectors may lose market shares. Service sectors, especially business services, financial sector and construction may experience high growth. On longer term, economic growth is stimulated by growth in the service sectors, if a decrease in barriers to foreign direct investment in businesses is realized.


Heyndrickx C., Alexeeva-Tabeli V., Tourdyeva N., 2012, To raise or not to raise: Impact assessment of Russia's incremental gas price reform


Final report



funded by

European Commission, FP7


Eef Delhaye, Tim Breemersch, Ignacio Hidalgo González, Christophe Heyndrickx, Joko Purwanto


Centre for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR- project leader), ZEW, Centre for European Economic Research, Institute for the Economy in Transition (IET), Ural State University (USU), Voronezh State University (VSU), Far Eastern Center for Economic Development (FECED), Statistics Norway (SSB)


Christophe Heyndrickx

+32 16 74.51.21

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 213091