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The article analyzes the relationship between foreign economic activity and innovation in Russian regions. In recent years, this topic has become particularly important, since Russia has been facing some problems in the sphere of innovative development although there are also some positive growth trends. The study is based on the data from the official website of the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) for 82 Russian regions for 2001–2018. The study uses econometric methods based on panel data, namely models with fixed effects, which take into account individual characteristics of regions. The models were built by using robust standard errors. The indicator of internal expenditures on R&D, which characterizes regional innovative activity, was chosen as a dependent variable. The results show a positive impact of foreign direct investment and imports on regional innovation, while exports have turned out to be an insignificant variable. The analysis of foreign trade across groups of partner countries, imports from non-CIS countries and exports to CIS countries demonstrates the positive impact of these factors on innovation. The research findings can be useful for policy-making in the sphere of foreign economic activity and innovation.
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