World Economy

Russia Minister Says Sanctions No Longer Bite

Russia Minister Says Sanctions No Longer BiteRussia Minister Says Sanctions No Longer Bite

Russia’s up-and-coming economy minister says his country is no longer suffering from US and EU sanctions, and sees better prospects for future trade in Asia.

Maxim Oreshkin told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Russian economy is on track to grow at least 2% this year. That would be a first after 2014, when the economy sank into recession driven by sinking oil prices and sanctions over Russian actions in Ukraine.

Speaking in Paris, Oreshkin slammed new US sanctions imposed last month but said his country has “turned the corner” thanks to domestic reforms. While the EU remains a key trade player, he said, “we see more willingness on the Asian side to work with us.”

Meanwhile, Oreshkin, after a meeting with French businesses on Tuesday, said, new US sanctions open up opportunities for European companies to develop cooperation with Russia, Sputnik reported.

“Indeed, we touched upon the issue of sanctions, discussed the issue of new legislation on the part of the United States,” Oreshkin said. “I noted here that the reaction on the part of European partners and European companies is more positive, therefore, the situation affects very little the relations between Russia and Europe. It can even be said that it provides new opportunities for European partners, they understand this and are going to actively develop their business in Russia,” he said.

Anti-Moscow sanctions imposed by the EU and the US have motivated the development of the Russian economy, but may also dampen future endeavors with international partners, he said.

“Indeed, when sanctions were imposed, they had an impact on the balance of payments and the dynamics of the Russian economy. But in many ways, they became a motivating factor for Russian companies, government and citizens, pushing them to be more active in developing the state’s economy. From this point of view, there is a kind of positive effect,” Oreshkin told journalists.

However, if restrictions are not lifted, they will hamper Russia’s ability to develop projects with its partners in the future, he said. “Russia is part of the global world, and we need to develop joint projects with our partners, but sanctions being introduced by the partners prevent us from doing this,” Oreshkin said.

The sanctions bill against Russia, Iran and North Korea signed into law by President Donald Trump in early August has been criticized by the European Union, particularly due to the concerns that the new sanctions will impact its economic interests, especially its energy cooperation with Russia. France and Germany have spoken out against the bill as it affects European industries while advancing US commercial interests.



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