Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov prompted more concerns over the health of the Russian economy Tuesday when he said there was a danger that the country's vast Reserve Fund could be entirely exhausted in 2016 if oil prices stay at their current level.
He told members of the upper house of parliament that if oil prices stayed around the current level of just below $50 a barrel and the dollar exchange rate remained unchanged, the budget may fail to receive 900 billion rubles ($14.14 billion) in revenues, Russian news agency TASS reported Tuesday.
"Our reserves volume [in 2015] will decrease by approximately 2.6 trillion rubles ($40.85 billion) - more than half," Siluanov said, according to TASS.
"This means that 2016 is the last year when we are able to spend our reserves that way. After that we will not have such resources," he warned.
"If the current oil prices and exchange rates remain the same, and the current oil price is at around $44 per barrels for Urals, and the ruble exchange rate is about 62 rubles to the dollar, we can (see the budget) fall 900 billion rubles short. We really face such risks," the minister said.