Tue | Dec 6, 2016

Putin warns Russians of hard times to come

Published:Thursday | December 4, 2014 | 12:05 PM
Vladimir Putin - File

President Vladimir Putin has warned Russians of hard times ahead and urged self-reliance, in his annual state-of-the nation address to parliament.



Russia has been hit hard by falling oil prices and by Western sanctions imposed in response to its interventions in the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine.



The rouble, which was once a symbol of stability under Putin, suffered its biggest one-day decline since 1998 on Monday.



The government has warned that Russia will fall into recession next year.



Speaking to both chambers in the Kremlin, Putin also accused Western governments of seeking to raise a new "iron curtain" around Russia.



However, he expressed no regrets for annexing Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, saying the territory had a "sacred meaning" for Russia.



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