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    Not Much Hope for Improving US-Russia Relations on Gov't Level - Expert

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    Russia have condemned a new round of US sanctions, stating it had begun working on retaliatory measures after news of the curbs pushed the rouble to two-year lows over fears Moscow was locked in a spiral of never-ending sanctions. Sputnik spoke to Edward Lozansky, President and Founder of the American University in Moscow.

    Sputnik: Russia condemned a new round of US sanctions as illegal and said it had begun working on retaliatory measures after news of the curbs pushed the rouble to two-year lows over fears Moscow was locked in a spiral of never-ending sanctions.

    Edward: Well we already see that the rouble is falling dramatically as we speak, so of course the fact is pretty substantial and no one knows when it’s going to end because this is just the first round. In 3 months there will be another round and moreover there is no end to sanctions because special new think tanks are being formed to strict budgets so people would think about what else can be done to damage Russia politically and economically. There final goal is not really hide; all these sanctions are designed to create turmoil in Russian society.

    Sputnik: Moscow has been trying with mixed success to improve battered US-Russia ties since Donald Trump won the White House in 2016, and Russia’s political elite was quick to chalk up a summit last month between Trump and Vladimir Putin as a victory. Could relations improve?

    Edward: I don’t see any chances for improving nearby, maybe in the long run. What advocate in my columns and speeches is that both the US and Russia can’t really count on political relationships, so maybe civil society and expert society will raise their voices and maybe using social networks to build contacts and ties between different universities. I appeal to all of my colleagues in Russia and the US to build bridges and to try and reach some understanding to explain each other’s position. Going back to your questions, I don’t see much hope for improving relations on a government level.

    Sputnik: The Kremlin said the new sanctions were “illegal and do not correspond to international law”. Could we see any retaliatory actions from Russia?

    Edward: We see that the American people understand that Trump’s attempt and ideas that US relations are important and good relations are good for America and American people believe him. The establishment does not. So maybe Russia should appeal directly to the American people, which is quite easy now with modern technologies. I think even certain branches of US media will probably publish appeals if they are published well and to the point.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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