UPDATE 1-Putin says dissatisfied with Russia's economic growth rate

Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:18am EDT

(Adds comment, detail)

SOCHI, Russia, March 12 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told the country's top finance and economy officials on Wednesday that the current forecast for gross domestic product this year was unacceptable.

"I will again stress that the existing growth rates and those forecast by the government cannot satisfy us," Putin told Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Kremlin economic adviser Andrei Belousov and others.

The Russian economy has slowed, with some economists saying the country's involvement in Ukraine may push it into recession in the first two quarters of the year.

The central bank envisages GDP growth of 1.5-1.8 percent this year, while the economy ministry puts the rate at around 2 percent.

The weakening rouble, which has lost more than 10 percent against the dollar so far this year to trade at all-time lows , is also putting the central bank's goal of 5 percent inflation this year in jeopardy.

"(We need to) ... keep inflation at an acceptable, low level," Putin said. He did not give details. (Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk, writing by Lidia Kelly, editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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