Fiscal rule restrains ruble’s weakening, oil prices still affect exchange rate, says minister

TASS Russian News Agency | Feb 28, 2020 at 3:32 PM

MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. The fiscal rule restraints the weakening of the Russian national currency, though strong oil price fluctuations still affect the exchange rate, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told reporters on Friday.

"It (ruble's weakening - TASS) is there. That is the consequence of the oil prices slump in the first place. Nevertheless, the fiscal rule restraints the ruble's exchange rate volatility," he said.

"However, such (ongoing) global oil fluctuations obviously affect the exchange rate," the minister added.

Siluanov believes that the oil prices issue is subject to further cooperation with OPEC. What decisions will be made is planned to be discussed next week. Meanwhile, one should be ready for any changes, he added.

"(Russia's) budget is protected with reserves created. Previously budget always was a source of instability as there were no funds and expenditures were slashed. Currently expenditures can easily be financed even with the oil price of around $30 per barrel (I am fantasizing) within four years," he said.

"However, I am confident that low oil prices will not persist for such a long period of time as the cost of production at a number of fields, shale first of all, is still higher," the minister noted, adding that the base oil price for a balanced budget in Russia is $42 per barrel.