Thaw on the Horizon? Trump Likely to 'Make Some Steps Toward Russia'

© REUTERS / Stevo VasiljevicA woman passes a billboard showing a pictures of US president-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Danilovgrad, Montenegro, November 16, 2016
A woman passes a billboard showing a pictures of US president-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Danilovgrad, Montenegro, November 16, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Donald Trump's presidency will see major changes in Washington's foreign policy and the new leader is likely to mend ties with Moscow, according to the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — US President-elect Donald Trump will be faithful to his pre-election campaign promises, setting a course to revamp relations with Russia, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia (AmCham) told Sputnik.

"It is highly likely that Trump will remain committed to the improvement of relations with Russia, or at least make some steps toward Russia," Alexis Rodzianko said.

Major changes in US foreign policy will indeed take place, and its orientation gives hope for better relations with Moscow, the AmCham Russia president and CEO added.

Trump has quite a lot spoken of Russia during the election campaign, Rodzianko recalled, noting that the Republican candidate was more open to some changes in the US policy, while his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton was less flexible and adhered to the current stance on the US-Russia ties.

"The more he will be able to do from what he had promised, the better for him," Rodzianko stated.

AmCham Russia CEO Sees Prospects for Anti-Moscow Sanctions Lifting After Trump's Victory

The victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election raises hope for the possible lifting of economic sanctions against Russia, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia told Sputnik.

"Of course, chances do exist. It is hard to assess them, but if the desire to improve relations is really achieved at the level of the presidents, the obvious consequence will be the sanctions relief or even their removal," Rodzianko said.

The AmCham Russia president and CEO noted that it was hard to find statistics on the losses of US business due to the sanctions regime. "It is also difficult to separate the impact of sanctions from the market effect, especially with regard to oil prices," Rodzianko added.

"It's obvious that they [sanctions] do not help and create depressing emotional background … I'm afraid to name its monetary value, and we did not even try to measure it," he emphasized.

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Trump won November's US presidential election, securing the majority of Electoral College votes and is set to take office on January 20. During his election campaign, Trump repeatedly called for dialogue with Russia and for combining efforts in fighting terrorism in war-torn Syria.

Trump reaffirmed his willingness to normalize US relations with Russia in his first phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 14.

Since 2014, relations between Russia and the United States deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. Washington and its allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions since Crimea became part of Russia in 2014 and 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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