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Mon, 04/06/2020 - 13:54
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Leading nations likely to look at easing sanctions after pandemic’s peak - Russian expert

MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. Leaders of the leading nations can agree to gradually ease the existing sanction systems after the coronavirus pandemic passes its peak, Andrei Bystritsky, chairman of the Valdai International Discussion Club Foundation, told TASS on Sunday. "When it is more or less evident that the peak of the pandemic is over, politicians and society will shift their attention to the problems of the post-coronavirus world. There will be discussions about development and about sanctions as well," he said. "There is a chance that, say, in September, if the leaders of the leading nations manage to meet, they will discuss the issue of the sanctions as part of a general solution on a new plan for the global development. Chances that these sanctions could be seriously reduced are quite high." "It will be necessary to restore the world, to agree some common plans and sanctions will be an obstacle. However it will not be an automatic process. It will not be done overnight. It will be a long, troublesome and rather bureaucratized process. So, I would not expect a swift abandonment of sanctions. But movement in this direction, undoubtedly, is visible," he explained. According to Bystritsky, many European and even American politicians are sending signals in favor of mitigation of the restrictions. However, in his words, there could be simple decision bearing in mind the political situation in various countries, their economic and other interests. "I don’t think that the Americans would drop their sanctions against Iran that easily. It will be a difficult process, as will be the recovery from the coronavirus quarantine. It will be a phased process, with various reservations," the expert noted. The calls, including from the United Nations, for cancelling the sanctions already now, not waiting for the pandemic’s end, can find "a local response, some temporary solutions within humanitarian operations," he said. "But as for the changes in the sanction system, they could be expected after the pandemic passes its peak." He said he thought that the first to revise the sanction regime, including against Russia, could be European Union nations. "Europe has always tended to a more realistic approach in the foreign policy and in its economic activity. Theoretically, the United States cannot be excluded but I would stake more on Europe," he noted. "The Europeans have long been wanting to do something about the anti-Russian sanction. Obviously, they want to do away with them as they are an obstacle for them. Coronavirus is likely to give reasons to do something about that. These sanctions will only hamper economic recovery. And the losses will be drastic. In this sense, they need contacts with Russia. The Europeans are the most probable candidate for the first step," he stressed. Read more