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Analysts: Russia’s Oil Addiction, Putin’s Political System Mutually Sustaining

Russia's leaders often voice the need to diversify the Russian economy away from a reliance on the export of raw materials, such as oil and gas, in order to stabilize growth. Revenues from petroleum exports make up almost half the country's federal budget.   At his annual press briefing Thursday, President Vladimir Putin responded to concerns about Russia’s economy, which is projected to contract by about about 4 percent this year, with world oil prices now below $40 a...

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