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VTB head urges President Trump to lift Russian bank sanctions

JSC VTB Bank CEO Andrey Kostin said U.S. President-elect Donald Trump should revoke sanctions on the country's lenders before addressing others imposed on Moscow, Reuters reported Jan. 19.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Kostin said he is confident the U.S. will soften Russian sanctions by the end of 2017, after which the EU will also change its approach because of reduced pressure from its Western partner, news agency TASS reported Jan. 18.

However, PAO Sberbank of Russia CEO Herman Gref said he does not expect the Western sanctions to be lifted in 2017, Banki.ru reported Jan. 19.

The U.S. and EU imposed various sanctions on Russia in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea and the country's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, with financial measures affecting VTB, Sberbank, Vnesheconombank and several other state-controlled lenders.