Former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin speaks during an interview with Reuters in Moscow, Russia, July 24, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
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Russia risks being saddled with U.S. sanctions for decades, curbing economic growth and preventing it from regaining its status as a leading economic power, an adviser to President Vladimir Putin said in an interview. Alexei Kudrin told Reuters the current proposed tightening of sanctions in Washington should not have any serious impact. But he called for a major structural reform program after the 2018 presidential election.Whereas Putin oversaw several years of growth in excess of 5 percent in his early presidential terms, the Russian economy suffered two years of contraction in 2015 and 2016 and is forecast to grow by a little over 1 percent this year.U.S. lawmakers earlier this week voted to impose new sanctions on Russia – on top of earlier penalties over its role in the Ukraine conflict – and Kudrin said the mood in Washington meant it would be difficult for U.S. President Donald Trump to ease sanctions in future.With such reforms, Kudrin said Russia could increase its economic growth rate to 3-4 percent in five to six years, even with sanctions staying in place.
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