PUTIN HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING
Vladimir Putin will hold his annual meeting with government members on Thursday where he will run through major events of the year. The meeting will be followed by high-level talks with Russian business representatives.
Putin made a speech earlier this week, asking the government to formulate an economic plan for the country to see it to 2025. At the centre of the plan is a goal to outstrip average global economic growth rates by 2020. While Russia’s unemployment rate is hovering around a respectable 5%, economic activity has been sluggish following a drop in demand for natural resources, presenting the plan’s architects with serious challenges.
Outside of Russia, 2016 has been a good year for Mr Putin. His support for Bashar al-Assad appears to be paying dividends as the regime solidifies its control over western Syria. Just a week ago, the president rounded off a series of diplomatic talks with a visit to Japan, concluding several economic deals.