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Putin vows to lift Russian economy out of doldrums in two years




Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his state of the union speech on Thursday, defended the Kremlin's aggressive foreign policy, saying the actions are necessary for his country's survival.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his state of the union speech on Thursday, defended the Kremlin's aggressive foreign policy, saying the actions are necessary for his country's survival.
Pavel Golovkin/AP

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The Russian economy has been hit hard by falling oil prices and international sanctions related to Ukraine. The value of the ruble fell precipitously earlier this week, causing a stock market selloff.

In a three-hour news conference Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to calm fear and restore confidence."Rates of growth may be slowing down, but the economy will still grow and our economy will overcome the current situation," Putin said at the televised news conference. "I believe about two years is the worst-case scenario. After that, I believe growth is imminent."

Can Putin turn the Russian economy around in just two years? What would he need to do? What effects would the current economic crisis, the worse the country has seen in more than a decade, have on Putin's grip on power?

Guests:

Arkady Ostrovsky,  Moscow Correspondent for The Economist magazine

Will Pomeranz, Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C