Several reasons have been proposed to explain the slowdown, including prolonged recession in the EU, which is Russia's largest trading partner, stagnant oil prices, lack of spare industrial capacity and demographic problems.

Political turmoil in neighboring Ukraine added to the uncertainty and suppressed investment.

Russia has the world's 15th highest patent application rate, the 8th highest concentration of high-tech public companies, such as internet and aerospace and the third highest graduation rate of scientists and engineers.

Russia's vast geography is an important determinant of its economic activity, with some sources estimating that Russia contains over 30 percent of the world's natural resources.

It has the world's largest proven natural gas reserves and the largest exporter of natural gas.

In 2015, the Russian economy was the sixth largest in the world by PPP and twelfth largest at market exchange rates.

Between 20 Russia's energy exports fueled a rapid growth in living standards, with real disposable income rising by 160%.

(Forbes ranks each country in a number of categories and draws from multiple sources such as the World Economic Forum, World Bank, and Central Intelligence Agency).

Following the annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and Russia's reported involvement in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine (denied by Russia), the United States, the EU (and some other European countries), Canada and Japan imposed sanctions on Russia's financial, energy and defence sectors.

In the 1990s Russia was "the largest borrower" from the International Monetary Fund with loans totaling billion.

The IMF was the subject of criticism for lending so much as Russia introduced little of the reforms promised for the money and a large part of these funds could have been "diverted from their intended purpose and included in the flows of capital that left the country illegally".

The value of Russian arms exports totalled .7 billion in 2013—second only to the US.

Top military exports from Russia include combat aircraft, air defence systems, ships and submarines.

Russia bounced back from the August 1998 financial crash with surprising speed.