World

Putin says Russian economy has sustained blow of Western sanctions, remains strong

  • A journalist takes a picture from a TV screen while Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, April 16, 2015.  During the TV broadcast Putin said the nation’s economic performance has remained strong, despite Western sanctions slapped on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis and a slump in global oil prices. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

    A journalist takes a picture from a TV screen while Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, April 16, 2015. During the TV broadcast Putin said the nation’s economic performance has remained strong, despite Western sanctions slapped on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis and a slump in global oil prices. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin listens for a question during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow, Thursday, April 16, 2015. Speaking Thursday in a televised call-in show with the nation, Putin said the nation's economic performance has remained strong, despite Western sanctions slapped on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis and a slump in global oil prices. (Alexei Druzhinin/RIA-Novosti,  Presidential Press Service via AP)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin listens for a question during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow, Thursday, April 16, 2015. Speaking Thursday in a televised call-in show with the nation, Putin said the nation's economic performance has remained strong, despite Western sanctions slapped on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis and a slump in global oil prices. (Alexei Druzhinin/RIA-Novosti, Presidential Press Service via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during an annual call-in show on Russian television "Conversation With Vladimir Putin"  in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, April 16, 2015. Speaking Thursday in a televised call-in show with the nation, Putin said the nation's economic performance has remained strong, despite Western sanctions slapped on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis and a slump in global oil prices. (Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti, Presidential Press Service via AP)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during an annual call-in show on Russian television "Conversation With Vladimir Putin" in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, April 16, 2015. Speaking Thursday in a televised call-in show with the nation, Putin said the nation's economic performance has remained strong, despite Western sanctions slapped on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis and a slump in global oil prices. (Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti, Presidential Press Service via AP)  (The Associated Press)

President Vladimir Putin has hailed the nation's economic performance.

Speaking Thursday in a televised call-in show with the nation, Putin said the nation's economic performance has remained strong, despite Western sanctions slapped on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis and a slump in global oil prices.

He noted a 3.7-percent increase in agricultural production and low unemployment, but acknowledged that an 11.4-percent annual inflation rate has put a strain on consumers' budget.

Putin pointed to the ruble's recent recovery following its sharp devaluation last year as a sign of the Russian economy's resilience.

He said the sanctions have given Russian a strong impetus to diversify away from its heavy reliance on oil and dependence on imports, and would encourage it to develop high-tech industries.