MOSCOW, December 17. / TASS /. Despite its dependence on revenues from fossil fuels, Russia has started weaning itself off the ‘oil needle’, said Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his annual year-end press conference on Thursday.
"Seventy percent of the Russian budget is already formed not based on oil and gas reserves. This means that we are not fully there yet, but still we are starting to get off the so-called oil and gas needle," President Putin said.
He especially noted that "if someone wants to still view us as a gas station, well that image is no longer valid." At the same time, the president acknowledged that "the dependence [on oil and gas revenues] is still very large," and this factor must be taken into account.