Russia’s economic contraction eased in the second quarter -- a signal that the recession of the world’s largest energy exporter may be coming to an end. Still, President Vladimir Putin has warned of stagnation if new growth drivers aren’t found. The economy expanded 7 percent on average in Putin’s first eight years as leader, while the International Monetary Fund forecasts it growing 1 percent in 2017 after a drop of 1.2 percent this year.

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