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Russia may lose 160 billion dollars due to low barrel price

6 February 2015

Russia would lose some 160 billion dollars over a year due to lower barrel price, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said. “The decrease in oil prices from 100 dollars to 45 dollars per barrel has led to a drop in export revenues of 160 billion dollars in annual terms, according to our estimates”, Nabiullina said, according to Reuters.

International oil benchmark Brent touched 45 dollars per barrel last month but has rallied in recent days to above 55 dollars per barrel, still only half its value of last summer. Nabiullina also told journalists that the central bank’s monetary policy would remain tight, seeking to keep the main interest rate above the inflation rate.

“Despite the lowering in rates from 17 to 15 percent, this is still in the region of positive (real) interest rates. Our policy remains tight,” she said. The central bank recently cut its key interest rate by 200 basis points, saying the move was aimed at supporting economic growth.

The bank cut its rate less than two months after raising it by an unprecedented 650 basis points in mid-December when the ruble hit an all-time low of 80 rubles per U.S. dollar.

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