U.S. sanctions will have little effect on economy - Kremlin aide

PETROZAVODSK, Russia, April 28 Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:47am EDT

PETROZAVODSK, Russia, April 28 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin's top economic adviser said on Monday the new round of U.S. sanctions targeting Russian officials and companies will have little effect on the country's economy and will only strengthen the resolve of the Kremlin and its allies.

"The more sanctions there are, the more strongly the elite will consolidate," Kremlin adviser Andrei Belousov told journalists in the northern city of Petrozavodsk, where he accompanied Putin on a visit.

"There will probably be some consequences (for the economy) ... but it is unlikely that they will have a serious impact on an operational, annual level," Belousov said of the sanctions.

He said that, in his view, the new sanctions do not give sufficient grounds to change the country's budget rule, which limits government spending. (Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Lidia Kelly)

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