"Certain problems related to the economic structure persist in our country. Probably, the sanctions are also having a certain effect," Medvedev said, adding, however, that "the macroeconomic conditions are already rather calm" and that despite "certain difficulties" the "phase of the gross domestic product drop will be replaced by a growth phase at the end of this year."
The Russian prime minister stressed that growth can already be observed in a number of spheres, including agriculture, chemical industry and the pharmaceutical industry.
"Such is the current situation. We do not consider it too optimistic and are not trying to close our eyes on the difficulties that exist. First of all, they are structural problems within the economy of the Russian Federation. We aim to resolve them," Medvedev emphasized.
In recent years Russia's economy has suffered a slowdown due to a dramatic decline in oil prices and geopolitical tensions, including Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the internal Ukrainian crisis. In 2014, the ruble significantly decreased in value against the dollar, but has slightly recovered since then.