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External shocks cause Russian economy shock damage of $200 billion — Siluanov

January 28, 2015, 11:57 UTC+3
Annual inflation in Russia is estimated at 12.5% for the time being, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said
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Bank traders in Moscow

Bank traders in Moscow

© AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

MOSCOW, January 28. /TASS/. External shocks cause Russian economy shock damage of $200 billion, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday.

"The effect of external shocks for the current account balance is around $200 billion. First of all, it’s the drop in oil prices, we are receiving less currency. All experts admit this situation will continue in the long term. There will be no quick rebound in the price of oil like the one we saw in 2008-2009. That’s because oil production is high, and given the slowing economic growth, this surplus production is pushing prices down," Siluanov said.

"The price of oil per barrel will remain at low levels, according to estimates. Today the price is below $50. We expect it to grow in the future, but it’s unlikely prices will return to $100 or higher" Siluanov added.

The Finance Ministry will allocate $2.4 billion of budget loans for regional commercial debt refinancing, Siluanov added. He said that the volume of regional debt rose last year by 20% and now stands at more than $29.7 billion (2 trillion rubles). That is why the proposed anti-crisis plan is aimed at supporting the regions in terms of debt repayment to commercial banks.

The ministry will also increase by $444.8 million in budget funds for project financing, he noted.

Annual inflation in Russia is estimated at 12.5% for the time being, Siluanov said.  He noted that many factors are affecting those numbers, including the ruble devaluation and effect from sanctions. "That is why we should not uncoil that inflation spiral, we need to take measures to limit investment spending growth, and limiting indexation," the minister said.

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