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War of sanctions 'boosts Russia-U.S. trade' —Russian trade representative

September 16, 2014, 15:07 UTC+3 MOSCOW
In January to May, U.S. exports to Russia grew 26.7% year-on-year while Russian exports to the U.S. grew six percent
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Filippov

MOSCOW, September 16. /ITAR-TASS/. A war of sanctions and restrictive measures in Russia-U.S. relations over events in Ukraine have paradoxically given a boost to bilateral trade, sending it up 20% in the first half of the year, Russian Trade Representative to the U.S. Alexander Stadnik told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.

In comments on reasons behind the increase, Stadnik did not rule out that “companies are securing themselves, deciding to buy in products that may be sanctioned to ensure normal activity in the future”. “With this in view, a decline of trade could become apparent after a longer delay,” he said.

Meanwhile, trade stood at about $15 billion in the first half of the year, the official added. “U.S. imports into our country grew by one third, by almost 30%”

Trade has been trending up. In January to May, U.S. exports to Russia grew 26.7% year-on-year while Russian exports to the U.S. grew six percent. In January to June, U.S. exports to Russia grew 29.3% while Russian exports in the other direction remained constant.

If this tendency persisted, trade could approach $30 billion by the end of the year, Stadnik said, adding that it was difficult to speculate about a positive trend for the future in conditions of constantly updated sanctions.

Last year, Russia-U.S. trade stood at $27.6 (two percent less than in 2012). Russian exports exceeded $11 billion, while imports of U.S. products reached $16.5 billion.

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