Sanctions on Russia could be relaxed by the end of 2016 following the victory of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, one of Russia's top economists has claimed.
Speaking at an investment forum in New York, former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin claimed that U.S.-Russia ties had a “fifty-fifty” percent chance of improving after Trump's shock win, the Interfax news agency reported.
"We all know that President Putin and Donald Trump have exchanged a few words and expressed desire to improve relations. This suggests a good chance that there will be some positive changes on the way for U.S.-Russia ties,” said Kudrin. “It's a chance which can be used.”
Kudrin warned that sanctions against Russia would not disappear overnight, but said that the measures could soon start to be gradually withdrawn.
"These first steps will be more symbolic, but they will be a deescalation," the economist said. "There are many different parties - Russia, the United States, Europe – who want to reduce international tensions. That will lead us to find a common language,” he said.