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    VTB Bank Head Says West May Lift Anti-Russian Sanctions Within Two Years

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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)
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    The head of the Russian VTB bank added that he saw no reason for Western countries to strengthen anti-Russian restrictions already in place.

    DAVOS, January 21 (Sputnik) — The West will likely lift Moscow sanctions in no more than two years, VTB bank head Andrei Kostin told Bloomberg TV on Wednesday.

    "Such things as the sanctions, for example, or [the current decline in] oil prices, I think they will end in one or two years," Kostin said, in an interview while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He added that he saw no reason for Western countries to strengthen restrictions already in place.

    According to the VTB Group CEO, sanctions against Russia were introduced by the United States and its allies for purely political reasons.

    "There is no economic reason for this [the sanctions] – but we very much hope that they will be loosened or softened, that they [the West] will allow banks like us to come to the capital markets and the bond markets and that will be very important for financial institutions," Kostin said.

    Kostin, whose VTB Group is one of two Russian bank "strategic partners" at Davos (Sberbank is the other), expressed certainty that "sooner or later" the Russian economy would improve.

    "There will be another cycle. So we are just working on how to protect [the] Russian economy from the most negative effects of the latest developments, " he added.

    According to the Russian banker, oil prices are unlikely to return to $100 per barrel in the near future.

    "I think the prices for oil will fluctuate between $60 and $80. That would be acceptable for the Russian economy… Russian economy should accept certain level of prices and try to adjust to the new reality," Kostin said.

    Following Crimea's reunification with Russia, the United States and its allies introduced multiple rounds of sanctions targeting Russia's energy, defense and banking sectors. VTB is among Russian banks affected by the Western financial restrictions.

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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)

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    European Union, banking, sanctions, business, finance, VTB, United States, Russia
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