By Andrei Skvarsky.
Russia’s Reserve Fund, a sovereign fund for plugging budget deficits, may go empty by the end of 2016 if the global oil price and the value of the ruble stay at their current levels, media cited Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying.
“[In 2015] we will reduce the volume of our reserves by about 2.6 trillion rubles ($40.5bn) – by more than half. All this means that 2016 is the last year that we are able to spend our reserves in that way. We won’t have such resources after that,” state news agency TASS quoted Siluanov as telling the upper house of parliament.
The 2016 draft budget submitted to parliament on October 23 makes provision for a deficit of 2.36 trillion rubles ($36.65bn) or 3% of GDP, and is based on oil price and ruble value projections that are higher than the current oil price level and value of the Russian currency against the dollar.
If oil and the ruble are worth next year what they are today, state revenues for 2016 may be 900bn rubles ($14bn) lower than the amount set by the draft budget, Siluanov warned.
He said the volume of cash at the National Wealth Fund, a sovereign fund with the official mission of supporting the pension system, would stand at 4.9bn rubles ($76m) as of the end of 2015, and that the amount would remain unchanged throughout 2016.