Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow Dec. 18, 2014. Putin said on Thursday stability in Russia was possible only if the state had the support of its people, and that he felt this support. Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that the country’s economic crisis could be fixed within two years as the government will undertake measures to diversify the economy, which is heavily dependent on petroleum revenues. Putin also criticized the Western sanctions, and accused the U.S. and the European Union of undermining his country.

Putin claimed that the Bank of Russia and the government have taken “adequate” actions to defend the ruble and the country’s struggling economy. However, he also admitted that the Western economic sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukrainian conflict accounted for about 25 to 30 percent of the Russian economic crisis, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

“If the situation develops unfavorably, we will have to amend our plans. Beyond doubt, we will have to cut some (spending). But a positive turn and emergence from the current situation are inevitable,” Reuters quoted Putin as saying at a news conference. “The growth of the global economy will continue and our economy will rebound from the current situation.”

Although Putin did not mention specific ways to prop up Russia’s stricken economy, he did mention that diversity in revenue sources is crucial, while reducing dependency on oil, a major export and a key source of income for the country.

Putin also warned citizens to prepare for a recession and criticized the central bank for not responding to the economic turmoil faster. According to him, Russia should not use its currency reserves to protect the ruble as the country is on the brink of a downturn, driven by falling oil prices and Western sanctions.

Russia has reportedly spent about $80 billion in an unsuccessful move to stabilize the ruble, which is now trading at about 62 to the dollar. The currency has fallen 20 percent since the start of the week and more than 50 percent this year.

“Under the most unfavorable external economic scenario, this situation may go on for about two years. But it may also start improving in the first quarter, in the middle, at the end of the next year,” Putin said.

Asked about the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Putin said that Russia wanted the country to remain a single political entity, meaning that the eastern regions, controlled by pro-Russian rebels, should stay as an integral part of Ukraine, AP reported.

Putin also claimed that Russia’s stance regarding the Ukrainian crisis is right while the Western powers are wrong in their conclusions over the issue.

“I think we are right in our stance on the Ukrainian conflict. I have said that before that these are our Western partners who are wrong,” Ria Novosti, a Russian news agency quoted Putin as saying.