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Russia on War Path Leaves Siluanov to Scrape By as Funds Ebb

  • Russia risks depleting Reserve Fund this year, minister warns
  • Government spares military, social outlays from budget cutback
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Russia Finance Minister: We Must Cut Budget by 10%

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The renewed decline in oil prices is forcing Russia to extend an austerity drive that’s without precedent during President Vladimir Putin’s 16 years in power. The fiscal rigor, though, will go only so far.

As the government takes stock of public finances battered by oil’s collapse, it will exclude outlays on the military and social services from any cuts, Finance Minister Anton Siluanovsaid in a Bloomberg Television interview in Moscow on Wednesday. The Reserve Fund, one of Russia’s two sovereign wealth coffers, plunged 16 percent in December, and authorities risk depleting it by the end of the year if no measures are taken, according to Siluanov.