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US sanctions to spur economic modernization in Russia — academician

The US expanded its sanctions against Russia on Wednesday over what the situation in Ukraine
Alexander Nekipelov ITAR-TASS/Grigory Sysoev
Alexander Nekipelov
© ITAR-TASS/Grigory Sysoev

MOSCOW, July 17. /ITAR-TASS/. New sanctions imposed by the United States on Russian major companies and banks will spur Russia to modernize its economy, says Alexander Nekipelov, vice president and academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, chairman of the board of directors of top Russian oil producer Rosneft.

“The economy of Russia has sufficient strength,” Nekipelov told ITAR-TASS on Thursday. “We cannot avoid damages in the short term, but in the long term these sanctions will make our economy take those measures we had no opportunity to employ under routine conditions.”

“Russia will reconsider its attitude towards science, development of its own technologies and economic modernization,” he said. “This will allow us to take those steps we have not taken before.”

“Sanctions usually break off particular ties, which are as a result of mutual interest,” the academician said. “That is why any sanctions affect both parties.”

The US expanded its sanctions against Russia on Wednesday over what Washington says is Moscow's reluctance to curb violence in Ukraine.

The largest firms sanctioned are the Russian state-controlled oil giant Rosneft, Russia's biggest oil producer; NOVATEK, the second-biggest gas company; Gazprombank, the bank connected with the country's gas-export monopoly; and Vneshekonombank (VEB), a state-owned development lender that provided much of the backing for the Sochi Olympics construction project.

Besides the major firms, the US also targeted additional Kremlin officials and two self-proclaimed entities in eastern Ukraine: the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic. A number of smaller defense-related companies, including the iconic Kalashnikov Consortium and munitions producer Bazalt, also were hit with punitive measures.