This article introduces the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and the European Union's policies and legislation that exemplify these rules. This forms the basis for examining primary Russian SPS legislation governing border controls and its relationship with legislative provisions on human, animal, and plant health and food safety. Specific Russsian primary federal laws (federal'nye zakony) covering veterinary medicine, plant health, food quality/safety, pesticides and agrochemicals, and technical regulations are compared with corresponding international conventions, norms, and standards and relevant legislation in the EU. Finally, general remarks are made about the Russian Federation's secondary legislation in the SPS area. Instances of non-compliance with international norms, found by the authors, may contribute to trade difficulties with other countries and likely will need to be addressed as part of Russia's negotiations to join the WTO and, also, to remove some of the difficulties in trade with the EU.