The Ukrainian economy is set to contract 12 percent this year, while inflation is forecast to reach 50.8 percent, according to the World Bank.
The main reasons for the slowing economy and rising inflation are the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine and a fall in trade with Russia.
Russia could become the world's largest supplier of ecologically clean and high-quality organic food, said President Vladimir Putin on Thursday. He also called on the country to become completely self-sufficient in food production by 2020.
"We are not only able to feed ourselves taking into account our lands, water resources – Russia is able to become the largest world supplier of healthy, ecologically clean and high-quality food which the Western producers have long lost, especially given the fact that demand for such products in the world market is steadily growing," said Putin, addressing the Russian Parliament on Thursday.
Ratings agency Moody's has upgraded the Russian government bond rating from negative to stable, citing the stabilization of Russia's external finances.
Moody's attributes this to a macroeconomic adjustment that has helped to mitigate the effect of the fall in crude prices on official forex reserves.
The International Monetary Fund considers further funding of Ukraine through the Extended Fund Facility program risky, according to its representative Jerome Vacher. If Kiev fails to live up to its agreement with IMF, financial aid to Ukraine could end.
"We are entering a difficult time. There is a need for responsible policies to keep moving on the chosen path. We see certain risks for the IMF program,” Vacher told the Ukrainian Ukrinform news agency on Thursday.
Direct flights between Russia and Egypt could resume soon after Egypt's national airline addressed security issues. EgyptAir has submitted an aviation safety plan to the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviation) seeking approval to resume direct flights.
Mainland Russia has started supplying electricity to Crimea after the first power bridge to the peninsula was completed across the Kerch Strait. Crimea has had a partial blackout since November 22, after power lines in Ukraine were sabotaged.
The energy bridge will deliver 200 MW of electricity a day from the Krasnodar region in mainland Russia starting from Thursday. Another 200 MW will be delivered by a second power cable expected to be connected by December 20.
The Paris attacks and the downing of a Russian Airbus have prompted renewed cooperation between Russia, US and EU in the fight against Islamic State. This raises the possibility of Europe lifting or easing sanctions in 2016, provided the rapprochement continues.