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Sanctions, cheap oil dealt “double blow” to ruble — former finance minister

January 22, 2015, 19:08 UTC+3 DAVOS
The sanctions and the fall in world oil prices roughly had an equal impact on the Russian currency, Russian former Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin said
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© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

DAVOS, January 22. /TASS/. Western sanctions and falling world oil prices have dealt a “double blow” to the ruble, Russian former Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin said at the Davos Economic Forum on Thursday.

Infographics Oil prices over 30 years Oil prices over 30 years
Year-average inflation-adjusted oil price. Infographics by TASS

The sanctions and the fall in world oil prices roughly had an equal impact on the Russian currency, the ex-finance minister said.

“The ruble’s devaluation has two key reasons: a fall in oil prices and the sanctions. The role of the price fall and the sanctions is roughly equal. Russia has been dealt a double blow, which has caused such a profound fall in the ruble exchange rate,” he said, adding this was a “certain price” for geopolitical decisions.

Russia has prepared for the period of lower oil prices, the ex-finance minister said.

“Of $400 billion foreign currency reserves, $190 billion is the government’s reserve. The government has good chances to ensure transition to another price level. The price of $100 per barrel is a temporary price. A more realistic price is the price below $80 per barrel or perhaps below $60 per barrel,” Kudrin said.

“It is rather good that we can be guided by real prices instead of the prices that distorted the country’s prospects,” he said.

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