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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

President Resurrects GDP Goal

President Vladimir Putin on Monday affirmed his goal of doubling the size of Russia's economy within a decade, saying foreign investment was needed but must be governed by proper rules.

"The task of doubling GDP, as state strategy for the decade, has not been removed from the agenda," Putin told regional leaders in Chelyabinsk.

Putin made no mention of the growth target in his annual state of the nation address last month, triggering speculation he might have given up on a target widely seen as unattainable.

Officials as senior as Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref have said the target -- which would require annual growth rates in excess of 7 percent -- could not be achieved.

And commentators say the state's breakup of oil major Yukos, and prosecution of its former chief executive, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, have damaged investment in late 2004 and early 2005.

Putin said Russia needed foreign investment and urged officials in the Urals federal district to do more to attract both domestic and foreign businesses.

"The volume of direct investment [in the Urals] region remains insignificant, and in some districts a serious fall has been noted," Putin chided officials, Interfax reported.

Putin last month announced a laundry list of policy priorities, the most important being a package of government legislation to limit foreign participation in strategically sensitive industries such as defense and natural resources.

Foreign investors have expressed concerns that Putin wants to shut them out of developing Russia's strategic resources, but the president said what they really need was "full and accurate" information on investment opportunities.