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An escalation in U.S. sanctions against Moscow risks derailing a fragile recovery in Russia's economy, which had just begun to take hold after the Kremlin's last confrontation with the West in 2014, analysts and investors said Monday. The United States imposed major new sanctions against Russia Friday, striking at senior Russian officials and some of the country's biggest companies in one of Washington's most aggressive moves to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other "malign activity". Analysts and investors in Moscow said the sanctions could consign Russia to years of low growth, frustrating government efforts to stimulate a rebound from a two-year downturn brought on by low oil prices and Western sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis.After two years of contraction, Russian gross domestic product returned to growth of 1.5 percent last year on the back of higher oil prices, still short of a government target of 2 percent.Russia's ruble suffered its biggest daily fall in over three years Monday and stocks in major Russian companies also slid, as investors reacted to the new sanctions.
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