December 17, 2015 / 9:40 AM / 2 years ago

Annual news conference by Russia's Vladimir Putin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The following are highlights from Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual news conference.

GDP FORECAST, BUDGET

"The government, taking into account the valuation of our exports, expects the economy to grow by 0.7 percent in 2016, by 1.9 percent in 2017, and by 2.4 percent in 2018.

I want to draw your attention to the fact that all that is calculated with an oil price of $50 per barrel. Now, the rate is lower and volatility is very high.

We will not be in a hurry to introduce changes to the budget as it would entail cuts in social spending. However, the government, of course, has been preparing different scenarios."

INVESTORS

"Investors, understanding the reality of our economy, are starting to show interest in working here."

OIL PRICE

"We had calculated next year's budget based on $50 per barrel. This is a very optimistic valuation today. Now it's already $38. That's why we will have to correct something there."

CRISIS

"The Russian economy has passed the crisis. At least, the peak of the crisis."

Reporting by Moscow Newsroom; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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