Oil wealth a blessing, energy dependence a curse for Russia's economy

The government faces increasing pressure to react to a crippling economic crisis that has seen inflation soar and Russians' purchasing power shrink dramaticallyAbundant oil and gas deposits have been a blessing for Russia, but they now feel like a curse as low prices propel the country into a deep economic crisis that shows no signs of abating. The ruble fell to a record dollar low this past week as global crude prices slumped to 12-year lows, highlighting at once Russia’s vulnerability to changing oil prices and the fact President Vladimir Putin’s government has squandered opportunities to diversify the economy. “We should not expect to see oil prices return to high levels,” she said.

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