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Medvedev: Russia should not wait for soon lifting of sanctions

Staff Writer |
Russia should not expect a soon abolishment of sanctions, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting of the United Russia party.

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“It is time to give up illusions that some sanctions against our country will be abolished. It is obvious that everything that happened is for long. We should not hope for foreign elections, for any foreign leaders coming to power,” he said.

In 2014, relations between Russia and the West deteriorated to their worse since the Cold War due to a military conflict in Ukraine.

The West introduced sanctions against some Russian individuals and firms and further against the energy and banking sectors. In response, Russia limited food imports from some countries, including the U.S., the E.U., Canada, Australia, and Norway.

Russian agricultural producers should use the sanctions regime, and the government will support them, as Russia should ensure itself with food independently in any conditions, Medvedev also said.

Russia had a record high grain harvest of 119 million tonnes in 2016, while overall agricultural production grew 3% under preliminary data, Medvedev said.

“We should support the most promising economic sectors, which are steadily growing even in such uneasy conditions,” he said.

Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachyov told reporters that Russia’s agricultural production increased 4% in 2016 after growth of 2.6% in 2015 and 3.5% in 2014. The positive dynamics will remain in 2017, and growth will not be below these figures, he said.

The ministry has lowered a forecast for Russia’s grain exports in the current agricultural year to 35–37 million tonnes from 40 million tonnes, Tkachyov said.

The full or partial abolishment of a food ban against those countries which introduced sanctions against Russia should be discussed along with the abolishment of counter restrictions, the minister said in an interview with the Rossiyaskaya Gazeta newspaper.

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