19 Mar 2010 19:25

Putin says Russian-U.S. trade hit hard in 2009 by crisis

NOVO-OGARYOVO. March 19 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced that trade between the U.S. and Russia dropped sharply last year due to the global recession.

"Unfortunately, our trade significantly dropped from $36 billion to $16 billion because of the economic crisis last year," Putin said at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday.

Relations with the U.S. are of special significance to Russia, Putin said.

But he added that sanctions applied to a number of Russian companies operating in the U.S. had still not been lifted.

"A number of our companies are under sanctions that were initiated by your agency," he reminded Clinton.