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Anti-Russian sanctions not likely to be lifted shortly — Russian banker

November 18, 2015, 17:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"The position of the Russian side is clear: we were not the ones to impose these sanctions, so we are not the ones to ask for them to be lifted," Russian VTB Bank CEO Andrey Kostin
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© Vladimir Smirnov/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, November 18. /TASS/. Russian VTB Bank CEO Andrey Kostin said on Wednesday that he did not expect sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine would be lifted soon, and was ready to continue working under sanctions.

"In my personal opinion, I would not be speaking about the lifting of sanctions shortly," he told Rossiya 24 television. "At any rate, in my work I am guided by the situation in which sanctions will be continued into the next year… The position of the Russian side is clear: we were not the ones to impose these sanctions, so we are not the ones to ask for them to be lifted," he said.

If the West realized that sanctions had no prospect and harmed not only Russia, but the countries having imposed them as well as the whole international economic system, it would probably lift them, Kostin said.

Otherwise, Russia would continue living under sanctions, as "we have already learned how and can do this, and we are not particularly suffering under them, though there is nothing positive in this situation," he added.

The United States introduced their first sanctions against Russia over Ukraine and Russia’s reunification with Crimea in March 2014.

They hit some Russian banks and companies, as well as high-ranking officials, exports of American products, technologies and services to Crimea were also banned. American investment on the territory of the peninsula was outlawed.

The sanctions have been repeatedly expanded and extended. At the moment, the sanction list of the United States includes 87 names, 49 companies, banks and organizations as well as the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics and their agencies.

In the same year, the European Union also imposed sanctions against Russia and has also repeatedly expanded and extended them. Talks on visa-free travels were put on hold as well as a new cooperation agreement. Russian officials faced a ban on trips and had their assets frozen. All in all, the EU black list includes 151 individuals and 37 legal entities. Sectoral sanctions are in place against 20 Russian financial, oil producing and defense agencies.

As countermeasures, Russia imposed on August 6, 2014 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway. In late July 2015, Russia extended its food embargo until August 2016 inclusive.

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