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Financial markets have been sending an interesting message about President Donald Trump and Russia. After Trump's election, investors seemed to be betting that sanctions against Moscow would soon be eased. The story cited a Bloomberg survey of economists that month in which 55 percent of respondents predicted that the penalties imposed after Russia's 2014 invasion of Crimea would be lifted over the next 12 months. Only two months before, when the polls were predicting that Trump would lose, just 10 percent of those surveyed had expected any quick easing of sanctions.Among the biggest cheerleaders for a Trump move to end sanctions were the chief executives of Sberbank and VTB Group, two big Moscow banks partly owned by the Russian government.Gref invited Trump to a two-hour dinner at the Moscow branch of Nobu restaurant.Trump apparently felt the same way. For the Russian banks, it has undoubtedly been disappointing to see Trump back away from any quick easing of sanctions.
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