As Russia looks ahead to next autumn's key parliamentary elections, a national economic body has been resurrected in an attempt to kickstart sluggish growth, Moscow daily Vedomosti reports Thursday.
After two years of stasis, Russia's Economic Council Presidium has been revived in order to promote the countrys' economic growth, as well as to look for ways to substitute foreign goods that have been banned from import because of ongoing sanctions against Western countries.
Economics no doubt will be at the heart of September's elections for the Duma. "Potential candidates must choose between their will to enact change and their desire not to do anything," political analyst Mikhail Vinogradov tells the newspaper.
Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin was engaged in a media blitz on Thursday, answering the nation's most burning questions during a live "Presidential Hotline." Some two million inquiries have been submitted so far, ranging from concerns about Putin's personal life to political and economic reform.