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Heritage Foundation Places Russia 140th on Economic Freedom Index

Russia has finished in 140th place on the Heritage Foundation's economic freedom index, an annual ranking that evaluates 178 countries' safeguarding of their citizens' rights to control their own labor and property.

The country got a score of 51.9 out of 100, remaining in the "mostly unfree" category and sliding one spot despite a 0.8 point rise from last year's index.

The Heritage Foundation — a staunchly conservative think tank based in Washington that came to prominence during the U.S. presidency of Ronald Reagan — gives countries scores for rule of law, limited government, regulatory efficiency and open markets. It named Hong Kong and Singapore as the world's most economically free countries.

Placing between Tajikistan and Burundi, Russia saw improvements in regulatory efficiency and government spending, though it lost points in freedom from corruption, fiscal freedom and trade freedom.

The report said that Russia's economic freedom score has remained relatively constant throughout the 20 years of the index, and blames political repression and state dominance of key industries for the country's economic stagnation.

Russia placed 41st out of the 43 countries in Europe, ahead of Belarus and Ukraine.

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