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29 Jun, 2019 10:26

Russia 'will NOT ask' US to lift sanctions

Russia 'will NOT ask' US to lift sanctions

Moscow is not going to ask Washington to remove sanctions on Russia, but if the US finally decides to do it, Russia will respond in kind, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

Speaking to the media on Saturday, the Russian leader said he has no idea about the future of US sanctions, and that it’s up to the American side how to build relations with Moscow.

“I hope common sense will finally prevail,” he said regarding sanctions. “We definitely won’t ask about anything… If there is interest, we will willingly respond in kind and will do everything to change the situation for the better.”

Putin met his US counterpart, Donald Trump, on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Osaka, Japan. While Russian-American relations are currently in a poor state, US entities are still willing to deal with Russia and are interested in developing trade and economic ties, according to the Russian president.

The interest of US businesses was clearly seen during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), which ran from June 6 to 8. Although Washington did not officially send anyone to the event, the American delegation was one of the largest with more than 500 people. Major US companies such as Coca-Cola and Boeing took part in the economic forum. “It something to think about,” Putin said outlining the US companies’ representation at the SPIEF.

Trump casually described the meeting with Putin as “excellent,” and they had a “great” and “tremendous” discussion. He also said Russia and the US could trade much more than they currently do.

“I think they’d like to do trade with the United States. They have great product, they have great land, they have very rich land, a lot of oil, a lot of minerals,” Trump said. “We could do fantastically well. We do very little trade with Russia, which is ridiculous, frankly,” he added.

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In May, the US president vowed “to do a lot of trade with Russia,” after he had a lengthy phone conversation with Putin.

However, sanctions have not stopped Russia-US trade turnover from growing. The volume of trade between the two countries has been on the rise over the past two years, and it stood at $25 billion in 2018. It was also recently revealed that America’s actual investment in Russia is much bigger than Russia’s official estimates due to the fact that funds can be directed through affiliated companies in Europe and then not accounted for as US money in the statistics.

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