The article discusses implementation of Russia's international obligations in fisheries management, nuclear safety and air pollution control. Empirical evidence is taken from the country's northwestern region. A main theoretical question is to what extent the observed level of compliance with international agreements can be explained by the nature of the problem and agreements at hand, and by the implementation activities of public authorities and target groups. The implementation performance in the case of fisheries management can be explained mainly by both positive and negative elements in public authorities' implementation efforts. In air pollution control, the nature of the commitments, i.e. the very limited need for behavioral changes, is the main explanation for implementation performance. The picture is a bit more complex in the case of nuclear safety where all the factors reviewed have had a moderate or considerable effect on implementation performance. Notably, institutional conflict at the federal level has hampered implementation, while regional authorities have since the mid-1990s indulged in constructive collaboration with various federal agencies.