Putin: Russian economic recovery to take up to 2 years

Russia's economic recovery may take less than two years, President Vladimir Putin said.

Russia's economic recovery may take less than two years, President Vladimir Putin said.

"Maybe faster," Putin said at his annual Q&A session on Thursday when asked whether the Russian economy would return to growth in two years.

"What we are seeing now - both with the strengthening of the ruble, with the growth of the markets, and some other positions - I think that maybe this will happen more rapidly. Somewhere around about two years," he said.

"This year we are forecasting some fall in production, including all factors, but at the start of this year, we proceeded from the fact that the fall in production would be substantial. This has not happened," Putin said.

Not only oil is responsible for the strengthening of the ruble, experts are seeing that Russia has passed the peak of problems, president said.

"Prices for oil actually rose slightly, but this is not directly connected and experts see this. The strengthening of the ruble is of course connected with oil prices, but such a strengthening is not connected with such an increase, there are other factors, and I have already spoken about this. Experts see that we have passed the peak of problems and with the payment of foreign loans by our banking and other enterprises from the real sector, we have carried out the adjustment of the exchange rate of the national currency, nothing has failed, and everything is working," Putin said.

Putin said that there are some difficulties, notably: "inflation has gone up, unemployment has increased a little bit, but not like in the eurozone."

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