Putin says Russia over worst of economic downturn

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.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.