MOSCOW, Russia – Russia's deputy prime minister says the economy is "not in tatters," though the country is experiencing a recession.
The Russian economy, battered by Western sanctions and lower oil prices, is expected to contract by 3.9 percent this year, more than earlier forecast, and grow by 0.7 percent next year. The average income has declined this year for the first time in Putin's 15-year rule.
Igor Shuvalov told the Russian parliament on Wednesday in comments carried by Russian news agencies that the situation is "completely under the government's control."
Shuvalov quoted government statistics saying that the labor market is stable and the unemployment rate is going down.