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Russia prepping for world economic failure

MOSCOW, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Russia is preparing for a possible global economic meltdown, President Vladimir Putin says.

In a meeting Thursday with regional officials, Putin laid out his reasoning on why global financial disaster is coming, RIA Novosti reported.

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While the economy in the United States "looks better," Putin said the U.S. economic indices were no better than those in Europe. He said that U.S. debt was 104 percent of GDP.

In China, he added, development rates have "slightly slowed and declined."

"These are, no doubt, alarming signals," Putin said. "Let us hope that these concerns do not transform into a full-blown crisis. Let us hope for the better but prepare for the worse."

The president said Russia began taking steps in 2011 to ward off any such crisis.

He said the government had set aside a "substantial sum" in reserve "so that we can respond effectively and energetically to crisis factors, if they emerge."

Putin said Russia's economic markers indicated the country was fiscally healthy.

Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Lavrov said earlier this year his department was conducting "stress tests" to study the country's ability to withstand "sharp changes in external economic conditions.

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