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April 17, 2014 1:50 AM

Russian economy worsens even before sanctions hit

While the annexation of Crimea has rocketed President Vladimir Putin’s approval rating to more than 80 percent, it has also contributed to a sobering downturn in Russia’s economy, which was in trouble even before the West imposed sanctions. With inflation rising, growth stagnating, the ruble and stock market plunging and billions in capital fleeing the country for safety, the economy is teetering on the edge of recession, as the country’s minister of economic development acknowledged Wednesday.

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