"I am confident that they will begin to relax the sanctions between the end of this year and the beginning of the next year. No one in Russia is going to keep up the confrontation. I think that the Minsk agreements will be fulfilled, and thus the conflict that caused the sanctions will be resolved," Kudrin said.
Russia’s relations with the West have been strained since the start of the political crisis in Ukraine in 2013.
The West accused Moscow of interfering in Ukraine's internal affairs and fueling the eastern Ukraine conflict and imposed targeted sanctions on key sectors of the Russian economy – energy, defense and banking — and certain individuals. The EU sanctions were prolonged for another six months at a meeting of the EU Council in late December.