MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukaev said on Monday that the recession in the Russian economy has ended.
"According to formal indicators, the recession in the Russian economy is over," Ulyukaev said at a meeting with the heads of EU diplomatic missions to Russia.
"We see that inflation in Russia is cooling down, at the moment it is about 15 percent on a year-on-year basis, it will decrease to 12-14 percent by year's end, approximately to 12.6-12.7 percent," Ulyukaev added.
In late 2014 and early 2015, the Russian economy underwent a slowdown caused by a sharp decline in global oil prices and, to a lesser extent, by Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over its alleged role in the internal Ukrainian conflict — a claim that the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.
In January 2015, the Russian government presented an anti-crisis plan, stipulating spending cuts in an effort to balance the country’s budget.
In spring 2015, the Russian ruble began to strengthen against the US dollar and the euro, while Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the lowest point in the recession had passed.
Alexei Ulyukayev also stated that after holding talks with European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, Russia is expecting positive results from the trilateral ministerial meeting between Brussels, Kiev and Moscow on the Ukraine-EU economic association scheduled on December 1.
The landmark association deal that seeks to create a free trade zone between Ukraine and the 28-nation bloc was reached by the sides in June 2014 and would go into force January 1, 2016.
Russia, as Ukraine's biggest trading partner, has repeatedly insisted on being included in the negotiations over Ukraine's EU association, fearing the process could result in an uncontrolled flow of European goods into the Russian market.
Russia is expected to ban agricultural and food imports from Ukraine if Kiev implements a free-trade zone with the European Union through the Association Agreement.