The Russian economy shrank by 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the final three months of last year.
Economy Minister Aleksei Ulyukayev said on April 16 in the State Duma that the Russian economy did grow by 0.8 percent in the January-March period compared to the same period in 2013.
Ulyukayev's remarks come one day after Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at a government meeting that the Russian economy faces "the most difficult conditions since the 2008 [global economic] crisis."
Siluanov said the country's GDP for 2014 is estimated to be about 0.5 percent but could be zero.
Last month the World Bank said that Moscow's internationally unrecognized annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region could put Russia into a recession.
Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax