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Putin scraps holidays for ministers

Russian president Vladimir Putin has scrapped New Year's holidays for government ministers because of the unfolding economic crisis.

Mr Putin told a televised government session today that cabinet ministers "cannot afford" to go on holiday.

Russian company employees throughout the country are entitled to holiday from January 1 to 12 when Russians celebrate the New Year, the main holiday in Russia, as well as Orthodox Christmas on January 7.

Russia's economy, battered by low oil prices and Western sanctions, is set to enter recession next year for the first time in six years, while the rouble is now worth less than half of its previous value.

Mr Putin told cabinet ministers that he expects them to keep the situation in check even during the holiday lull.

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