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Meager US-Russia trade sees 25% surge with diplomatic relations at all time low

Meager US-Russia trade sees 25% surge with diplomatic relations at all time low
The volume of trade between Russia and the United States totaled six billion dollars in the first quarter of the current year, having soared by nearly 25 percent year-on-year, according to the Russian Customs Service.

The agency reported that Russian exports to the US saw a surge of 18 percent from January through March and amounted to US$2.686 billion. At the same time, imports from the US to Russia grew by 29.4 percent and totaled $3.292 billion. The US share in Russia’s foreign trade turnover reportedly increased to 3.8 percent from 3.1 percent a year ago.

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In 2018, trade turnover between the countries amounted to around $25 billion, marking a 7.86 percent increase against the previous year. The modest year-on-year growth comes amid a massive sanctions campaign launched by Washington against Moscow in 2014.

The economic penalties were introduced over Russia’s alleged involvement in the crisis in eastern Ukraine and following the Crimean referendum to secede from Ukraine and rejoin Russia. Since then, the measures have been expanded for various reasons with the Kremlin responding in kind.

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Russia’s overall trade turnover amounted to $158.6 billion in the January-March period, up 0.1 percent from the same period last year. Exports reached $104.9 billion, having increased 1.4 percent, while imports were down 2.4 percent year-on-year to $53.8 billion.

Meanwhile, trade between Russia and China grew 3.4 percent to $24.95 billion in the first quarter. China reportedly accounted for 15.8 percent of Russian trade in the first three months of this year, up from 15.3 percent against the first quarter of 2018.

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