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Obama Says Only Crumbling Economy Can Change Putin's Ways

U.S. President Obama on Wednesday accused his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin of promoting a backward policy for Russia.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that he doubted President Vladimir Putin will change course until politics catch up with the rough economic situation in Russia.

Obama said Putin has promoted a nationalist, backward-looking approach to Russian policy that scares neighbors and hurts Moscow's economy.

Putin is under pressure to show he has a prescription to cure Russia's rapidly growing economic ills in his annual state of the union address on Thursday.

Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, sharp falls in global oil prices and the ruble's slide against the dollar culminated in an acknowledgement by government officials this week that Russia will enter recession next year.

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