Russia's Putin scraps New Year's holidays for ministers

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Maxim Zmeyev | Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin

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

Putin told a televised government session on Thursday that Cabinet ministers "cannot afford" to go on holiday.

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Russian company employees throughout the country are entitled to holiday from Jan. 1 to Jan. 12 when Russians celebrate the New Year, the main holiday in Russia, as well as Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 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 ruble is now worth less than half of its value.

Putin told Cabinet ministers on Thursday he expects them to keep the situation in check even during the holiday lull.