Cheaper oil highlights Russia’s economic woes

First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov (photo: dpa)
First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov (photo: dpa)

Vladimir Putin has repeatedly called on his ministers to introduce measures to counter Russia’s slowdown in economic growth, but with little effect. Oil is a key factor in the nation’s prosperity and prices have fallen significantly in 2013. Corruption means that major infrastructure projects are ineffective and many wealthy Russians believe their money is safer – and more productive - overseas.

THE atmosphere was grim when Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with government ministers in Sochi, the designated site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

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Economic data showed ‘alarming symptoms’ of a slowdown in economic growth, and...

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