Should Russia expect lifting of sanctions without Hillary?

Should Russia expect lifting of sanctions without Hillary?

The Morgan Stanley bank estimated the probability of lifting of the US sanctions against Russia in the next two years due to Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential elections, Bloomberg reports with reference to the analytical review of the organization.

"Morgan Stanley sees a 35% chance of lifting the US sanctions against the Russian Federation in 2017-2018 after the election of Donald Trump as the US president," TASS cited the message as saying.

The review notes that the Obama administration was going to keep the anti-Russian sanctions until the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the crisis in southeast Ukraine have not been implemented by Moscow. But Morgan Stanley experts explain that sanctions against Russia were introduced by executive order, and its abolition does not require any legislative initiatives.

As analysts say, in this case the task of keeping the EU's sanctions in force will be seriously hampered.

Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential race opens a window of opportunity to have the economic sanctions against Russia lifted, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said in an interview with Germany’s Die Welt newspaper.

"I can only say that it opens a window of opportunity," Ulyukayev replied when asked about whether Moscow links Trump’s victory with the lifting of sanctions. "We will do our best to use this opportunity."

However, the minister warned against being too optimistic about the outcome of the US presidential election.

"Applause and high hopes are not needed here. We understand that America has turned a new page in its history, but we have no idea of how it would look like," he said. "We, on our part, are ready to do our best to improve the economic aspect of Russian-American relations," TASS cited him as saying.

A professor at the department of the stock market and investments at the Higher School of Economics, Alexander Abramov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that we must be very cautious about the prospects of any Trump's promises outside the United States. "Foreign policy is still the most vulnerable Trump's spot in terms of his political experience. Therefore, I think that at the early stages he will be careful and will not take such radical steps as a weakening of the sanctions regime," he expects.

Trump's strategy towards Russia is too controversial. "He adheres to the policy of economic isolation of the US and settling its internal problems. This is likely to prevent the sanctions, because he does not care about external economic affairs in the good sense. Judging from the election campaign, he promised to establish normal relations with Russia and meet Vladimir Putin, which may speak in favor of the lifting of sanctions. But still the basic and most compelling statements of Trump refer to domestic policy," Alexander Abramov noticed.

If the US really agrees to the weakening of the sanctions regime, we should expect similar moves in Europe. "Firstly, there will be no straight rejection of Trump in Europe: Europe quickly adapt to changes. The US Influence in terms of supporting the EU sanctions will be weakened, and it could at least partially ease the European sanctions," the expert predicts.

An associate professor of Stock Markets and Financial Engineering of RANEPA, Vasiliy Yakimkin, explained that we should not place too much hope in the election of Donald Trump the US president, despite the fact that Trump is a realist and a pragmatist.

"Both the future administration and the future president of the United States are more focused on pragmatism in relations with foreign countries, on mutually beneficial cooperation, therefore, they are aware of the need to be friends with such a powerful country as Russia," he stressed.

"However, the prerogative of decision belongs not so much to Trump as to the House of Representatives, which includes quite radical conservatives, who hold the Russophobic position," the expert said.

In addition, according to Trump's pre-election rhetoric, the US will be more focused on domestic issues than foreign, respectively, the new presidential administration will be less interested in external issues relating to Ukraine, Crimea and Syria.

Even if a politician-billionaire achieves some exemptions regarding the anti-Russian sanctions, it will likely be slow and gradual, Yakimkin noted.

He recalled that now Europe is essentially a vassal of the United States. "Now Europe is tightly controlled by the Democratic administration. And when there is another US administration, everything may change gradually, especially in Germany and France, where the elections are at hand," the analyst suggested.

The expert reminded that earlier, during the election campaign, Trump said about the need to revise the entire policy on Crimea, including an explicit hint of recognition of Crimea as Russia's subject. "Accordingly, the US administration will put pressure on Ukraine to make Kiev implement the Minsk agreements," the expert explained.


Vestnik Kavkaza

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