Putin vows to avoid crisis in economy

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The Independent Online

Russia will do everything in its power to prevent the global financial crisis from capsizing its national economy, the Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, said yesterday, announcing a package of stimulus measures and help for people who lose out in the downturn.

Mr Putin laid out a strategic vision for how Russia would respond to a crisis that has driven its stock markets down more than 70 per cent since May. The crisis has hammered confidence in the Russian economy and raised the prospect that popular discontent could, for the first time in eight years, seriously undermine the ruling double act of Mr Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev.

"People are asking a fair question: what is going to happen to us?" Mr Putin said, at a meeting near the Kremlin."Russia, like many other developed countries in the world, is facing difficult conditions. We will do everything in our power to make sure that there are no more economic shocks like the ones in 1991 and 1998," he said, referring to the turmoil after the collapse of the former Soviet Union.