Speaking at his annual press-conference, Vladimir Putin said that the economic downturn will last two years at the most.
President Vladimir Putin has attempted to assuage fears of economic collapse and promised rapid recovery as he faced hundreds of journalists during the worst financial crisis of his rule.
Speaking at his annual press-conference, the Russian leader said that the economic downturn will last two years at the most and he promised to support the poorest segment of the population.
"Under the most unfavourable world conditions, such a situation can last two years," Putin said days after the Russian rouble fell to record lows, following a 60 per cent dive in value since the beginning of the year.
He added that efforts by the central bank and government - including a record hike of the key interest rate and spending billions to stabilise the rouble - have been "absolutely reasonable and in the right direction" though they could have come quicker.
"It goes without saying that a way out of this situation is inevitable," he said, promising to "focus attention on helping people who need it most".
The Russian strongman also ratcheted up his anti-Western rhetoric, accusing Moscow's partners of treating other countries like their underlings.
"Our (Western) partners have not stopped. They decided that they are winners, they are an empire now and the rest are vassals and they have to be driven into a corner," Putin said, referring to raging tensions with the West over Ukraine.
The Russian president had remained silent earlier this week on the issue of the rouble's crash, which took it to historic lows of 80 to the US dollar and 100 to the euro, leading Russians to rush to exchange their savings and make a run on stores to dump the devaluing national currency ahead of expected price hikes.
The rouble rallied in early trading on Thursday ahead of the news conference. The central bank earlier this week spent $US2 billion ($A2.1 billion) on supporting the currency and the finance ministry promised to spend up to $US7 billion more.
The marathon press conference, held in a trade centre in central Moscow, saw Putin face hundreds of journalists from all over Russia.
More than 1200 had signed up to attend, according to the Kremlin.
Economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev told Vedomosti daily in an interview published on Thursday that Russia's economy was going through a "crisis" and conceded that there was no coherent plan on how to tackle it if oil prices do not rebound.
"I guess we found ourselves in a perfect storm, and I guess it's not an accident. Because in some way we prepared this storm ourselves," he said in an interview conducted on Monday, before the record rouble low on Tuesday.
"We are issuing ad hoc reactions, the situation is so unpredictable that we cannot be ready for future changes," he admitted.
Several observers have said that the record slump of the rouble is due not only to the global decrease of oil prices on which Russia depends, and Russia's financial isolation due to Western sanctions over Ukraine, but also to the perceived lack of strategy by the leadership during the crisis.
Putin's ratings so far remain sky-high, hitting 80 per cent for months after the controversial annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in March.
However, it is unclear how much support for him - built on years of growing oil revenues and relative prosperity, as well the total dominance of the well-oiled state media machine - will ebb once people see their purchasing power erode.