It shouldn't come as a surprise that Russia feels threatened by a trade deal between Ukraine and the EU, its largest trading partner, according to the European Commission. Russia's economy needs all the friends it can get.
The economy was the third subject to be addressed in Putin's speech after a brief mention about the importance of tackling corruption in Russia, particularly ahead of and during 2016 parliamentary elections. Corruption, he said, "deters Russia from developing properly."
Low oil prices, sanctions and the resultant capital flight led to a plunge in the ruble and high inflation in Russia. The Russian central bank has tried to combat this with high interest rates – much to the chagrin of Putin who would prefer to see lower rates in order to encourage spending.
Putin said that Russia needed to boost its economy in several ways, boosting competitive production and help for small and medium-sized enterprises. He also welcomed foreign investors.
The Russian president said that by 2020, he wanted all of Russia's food to be made by domestic producers.
Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told CNBC in October that he believed Russia would see a contraction in Russian gross domestic product of 3.8 percent in 2015 but that the economy had started to turn a quarter, predicting positive growth of 0.7 percent in 2016.
Russia has tried to turn sanctions into an advantage by promoting import substitution and in retaliation has banned many foreign products, making a spectacle out of bulldozing of piles of imported vegetables, cheese or meat, angering many struggling Russians who are dealing with high food prices and rising poverty.