Russian President Vladimir Putin assured Russians the economy will rebound after the rouble’s plunge this year but offered no remedy for the deepening financial crisis, Reuters reported.
Defiant and confident at a three-hour news conference Thursday, Putin blamed the country’s economic problems on external factors.
In comments broadcast live nationwide, he said the crisis over Ukraine was caused by the west, which he accused of building a “virtual” Berlin Wall to contain Russia.
Putin ignored pressure to say how he will fix an economy facing what his economy minister calls a “perfect storm” of low oil prices, western sanctions over Ukraine and global financial problems.
The rouble has weakened about 45 percent against the US dollar this year, declining steeply on Monday and Tuesday, but Putin said it would eventually rise again.
“If the situation develops unfavorably, we will have to amend our plans. Beyond doubt, we will have to cut some [spending]. But a positive turn and emergence from the current situation are inevitable,” Putin said.
He said the recovery might take two years, but much will depend on how long the west maintains sanctions on Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis.
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