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Putin: Economy 'Difficult But Not Critical'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the situation with the country's economy is "difficult, but not critical."

Putin said the budget deficit in 2016 should not exceed 3 percent of gross domestic product.

Putin was speaking on September 22 in Moscow at a meeting with government officials dedicated to Russia's 2016 budget.

Russia's economy has been hit hard by Western sanctions over its actions in Ukraine, plus falling oil prices.

The International Monetary Fund is predicting the Russian economy will contract 3.4 percent in 2015.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Reuters