الجمعة , مايو 21 2021

Putin to address Russia parliament

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Patrick Pouyanne, the new head of Total oil and gas company, in Sochi, Russia, 28 November 2014President Putin remains popular in Russia despite the country’s economic woes

President Vladimir Putin is expected to focus on Russia’s economy when he delivers his annual state of the nation address to parliament later.

Mr Putin is due to address key issues in his speech at the Kremlin at 12:00 local time (09:00 GMT).

It comes just days after the government warned that Russia would fall into recession next year.

Western sanctions, in response to Russia’s role in eastern Ukraine, and falling oil prices have hit hard.

On Monday, the rouble suffered its biggest one-day fall since 1998.

The currency slid almost 9% against the dollar before rallying after suspected central bank intervention.

Way out

Mr Putin will speak in front of an audience 1,100 attendees in the Kremlin’s St George Hall.

Many Russians are hoping he will offer ideas for a way out of the crisis, reports the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg in Moscow.

Pedestrians walk on a street near the Moscow International Business Centre in Moscow, Russia, 3 December 2014Russia’s economy is on the brink of recession

Falling oil prices have affected Russia because of the country’s reliance on energy exports, our correspondent says.

And Western sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its role in destabilising eastern Ukraine are contributing to the country’s economic problems.

The estimated cost of sanctions and falling oil prices to Russia is $140bn a year, according to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.

Over the last year the rouble has lost around 40% of its value against the dollar and inflation is expected to reach 10% early next year.

However, President Putin remains popular, our correspondent adds. According to one opinion poll this week, 72% of Russians approve of the way he is running the country.

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