Russian President Vladimir Putin was sworn in for a fourth term in office on Monday. Speaking in Moscow, Putin promised to follow an economic program that would improve living conditions across the country. He said that improving Russia’s economy would be a major goal of his next six years in office.
Economic growth slowed because of a recession. Russia observers have linked the recession, in part, to international sanctions against the country.
Under his leadership, Russia has regained its position as a world leader through military action, including intervening in Syria’s war to help its president. Yet Putin has been criticized for doing little to reduce Russia’s dependence on energy exports or develop its manufacturing industry.