Russian growth to return to pre-crisis level in 2012: Putin

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Russia will post growth of 3.8 percent in 2010 and the economy will see a return to pre-crisis levels in the first half of 2012, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

"We are restoring the level of our GDP to the pre-crisis level," Putin said at the start of his annual marathon question-and-answer session with Russians.

"I think that in the first half of 2012 we will return to our pre-crisis level."

Russia's hydrocarbon-dependent economy was hard hit by the global economic crisis, suffering a 7.9-percent economic contraction in 2009 which reversed several years of stellar growth under Putin's leadership.

He said that Russia's growth for 2010 would be 3.8 percent. "We are finishing the year in an entirely satisfactory way," he added.

© 2010 AFP

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