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West May Ease Anti-Russia Sanctions in 2017 - Russian Ex-Finance Minister

© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to the photo bankOne of the Kremlin towers in Moscow.
One of the Kremlin towers in Moscow. - Sputnik International
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Former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the current tensions complicate relations between the West and Russia but do not eliminate the possibility of easing the sanctions next year.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Former Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin did not rule out on Wednesday that the West may ease anti-Russia sanctions in 2017, although a recent escalation of tensions between the sides hampers the process.

"I think that a new round of tensions, of course, complicates the process of lifting sanctions in the near future. But I think it does not eliminate the possibility to ease the sanctions next year," Kudrin told journalists.

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He also expressed hope that there would be no additional sanctions given the current "desire to negotiate."

Since 2014, relations between Russia and the West deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions on the pretext of Moscow's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.

Russia has repeatedly refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability.

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