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Putin Seeks to Calm Russia Over Economy

President Vladimir Putin struck an optimistic chord at his end-of-year news conference Thursday, telling Russians the country's economy will rebound and the ruble will stabilize, yet offering no new remedy in halting the deepening financial crisis. Putin said the current crisis could last two years at most, but the economy could recover faster if external factors change for the better. Speaking during a three-hour, end-of-year news conference, he said the nation's currency...

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