MOSCOW (AP) Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country's economy has weathered the worst effects of its downturn even though it appears headed for a deep recession.
In comments reported Tuesday by state news agency RIA Novosti, Putin said the economy had passed the ''peak of stress'' and had stabilized after a dramatic drop in the value of the ruble last year.
He sought to downplay talk of a crisis, preferring instead a reference to ''certain difficulties.'' He insisted that it's ''already clear that there is no collapse and that there won't be one.''
According to the World Bank, Russia's economy will shrink by 3.8 percent this year and 0.3 percent next as it suffers from weak investment demand, sanctions and the low oil price.