Russia’s Finance Minister eyes budget cuts

Russia’s Finance Minister has foreshadowed expenditure cuts during a meeting investigating the next 3-year budget. Alexsey Kudrin admitted there is not enough statistical information or a proper method for making long term forecasts.

Kudrin has announced that budget expenditures are now too high and must be lowered by all possible means.

Budget forecasts as well as oil prices were discussed at Tuesday’s meeting of the Finance Ministry's board.

The Ministry assumed that oil prices would stay above $US 72 per barrel for several years.

Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov has voiced serious concern over the permanent increase of imports. He has pointed out that import has grown five times since 2005, and nearly a half of Russian consumer market is occupied by import.

Economic and Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said that priority projects should be funded within the 3-year budget and not during the next decade as it accords to current long-term development strategies.