BRIEF-S&P - Russia's 'BB+' foreign currency and 'BBB-' local currency ratings affirmed outlook negative

March 18 (Reuters) -

* S&P On Russia - “we expect a 1.4% gdp contraction this year”

* S&P On Russia - Ratings remain constrained by the weak political institutions that impede the economy’s competitiveness

* S&P On Russia - Sanctions on russia will remain in place over our forecast horizon

* S&P On Russia - View russia’s institutional and governance effectiveness as a rating weakness

* S&P On Russia - Russia’s ‘bb+’ foreign currency and ‘bbb-’ local currency ratings affirmed; outlook negative

* S&P On Russia - “In our opinion, russia is maintaining its external buffers”

* S&P On Russia - Declining domestic purchasing power, as a result of exchange-rate depreciation and elevated inflation, will hamper russia’s growth

* S&P On Russia - Expect that russia’s current account will remain in surplus

* S&P On Russia - Also affirmed the long-term national scale rating on Russia at 'ruaaa' Source text (