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Russia pushed into crisis

Russia's government headed by Vladimir Putin (inset) has pushed the country into an economic crisis by not tackling its financial problems fast enough, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin said.

He warned that the full effects would be felt next year.

Kudrin - a darling of investors who is credited with building Russia's $170bn (€139bn) worth of sovereign wealth funds - added that sanctions over Ukraine imposed by western powers including the EU, and not falling oil prices, were behind the collapse of the rouble.