(Adds detail, context)
MOSCOW Jan 16 Russian Finance Minister Anton
Siluanov said in a television interview on Saturday that the
fall in oil prices meant the Russian budget would be short of
more than 3 trillion roubles ($38.6 billion) of income.
Russia's economy has been hammered by the collapse in global
oil prices since mid-2014 as energy sales account for roughly
half of federal budget revenues.
Its current budget for 2016 was calculated based on a Urals
oil price of $50. Urals URL-E, Russia's main export blend,
traded at around $27 on Friday.
"Therefore there is a difference of two times, and I want to
say that for budget income this difference equates to over 3
trillion roubles," Siluanov said in an interview on the current
affairs programme Vesti on Saturday with Sergei Brilev.
The oil price slide has also put pressure on the rouble,
which is down over 50 percent versus the dollar since oil prices
started a relentless drive downwards.
But Siluanov said the rouble had weathered the worst because
oil prices could not fall as far as they already have from their
"Our main export commodity, as we have already discussed,
fell in price by four times," Siluanov said. "One can hardly
expect prices to fall four times further compared to today's
He added that Russia could have to use part of its National
Wealth Fund (NWF) to cover the budget deficit in 2016, if
measures were not taken to bring Russia's budget in line with
the new oil price reality.
The NWF is one of Russia's two rainy-day sovereign funds,
alongside the Reserve Fund. Part of the NWF is already invested
in infrastructure projects.
($1 = 77.7450 roubles)
(Reporting by Alexander Winning, Maria Kiselyova and Darya
Korsunskaya; Editing by Richard Balmforth)