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Russia Gets Grim Growth Forecast For Rest of Putin's Term

Russia's central bank has forecast three years of stagnation, cutting economic growth estimates for 2014-16 to almost zero.

The bank's predictions suggested that Western sanctions and lower oil prices are clouding Russia's prospects in the final years of President Vladimir Putin's third term.

The base scenario set out in an annual monetary policy strategy document issued on November 10 forecast economic growth of 0.3 percent this year, zero in 2015, and 0.1 percent in 2016.

The bank's forecast anticipated that Western sanctions imposed over Russia's actions in Ukraine would last at least until the end of 2017.

It was based on the assumption that the oil price will rise to $95 per barrel next year but then decline again.

It predicted better growth rates if the sanctions are lifted earlier or oil prices are higher than expected.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP