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MOSCOW, September 16. /ITAR-TASS/. A war of sanctions and restrictive measures in Russia-U.S. relations over events in Ukraine have paradoxically given a boost to bilateral trade, sending it up 20% in the first half of the year, Russian Trade Representative to the U.S. Alexander Stadnik told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, trade stood at about $15 billion in the first half of the year, the official added. “U.S. imports into our country grew by one third, by almost 30%”
Trade has been trending up. In January to May, U.S. exports to Russia grew 26.7% year-on-year while Russian exports to the U.S. grew six percent. In January to June, U.S. exports to Russia grew 29.3% while Russian exports in the other direction remained constant.
If this tendency persisted, trade could approach $30 billion by the end of the year, Stadnik said, adding that it was difficult to speculate about a positive trend for the future in conditions of constantly updated sanctions.
Last year, Russia-U.S. trade stood at $27.6 (two percent less than in 2012). Russian exports exceeded $11 billion, while imports of U.S. products reached $16.5 billion.