The former Russian Finance Minister and Head of the Strategic Developments Center Alexei Kudrin gave an opinion that the Western countries would ease the sanctions against Russia at the end of 2016 – at the beginning of 2017.
“My prediction: it will begin at the end of this year or at the beginning of the next year. Maybe it will be demonstrative and small steps, but, more importantly, I think they will be made,” he said.
Kudrin recalled that the sanctions had been imposed in two stages: after the Russian annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the military conflict in the East of Ukraine. The first, so-called “Crimean” group of the sanctions was largely personal in nature and was not economically sensitive.
“So the Eastern Ukraine is the key question now. If Europe pushes Ukraine to adopt changes to the Constitution and to determine the status of the troubled territories, etc., there will be a basis to ease the sanctions, I think,” he said.