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Putin says economy will rebound as sanctions stiffen

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow, on December 18, 2014President Vladimir Putin vowed Thursday that Russia would soon recover from the worst financial crisis of his rule and said his grip on power was firm, even as new Western sanctions and a run on the ruble pile on the pressure. The Russian strongman showed no willingness to change tack on Ukraine — despite the West toughened sanctions on Thursday — and dismissed the possibility of the country’s elite turning against him. Russia is grappling with a ruble collapse seen as a major test for Putin, whose pact with voters has been based on the relative prosperity brought by years of high oil prices. Putin said Russia would adjust to low oil prices, but he gave no recipe for turning the economy around.

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