Finance Minister Siluanov Expects the Budget Deficit to Exceed the Target

Russian federal budget deficit reached 4.3% of BDP during the first half of 2016, indicating that the figure for the full year will exceed the planned 3% of BDP, writes Reuters.  Finance Minister Siluanov stated that the deficit will be higher than planned by 420 billion rubles (approximately USD 6.6 billion) and promised that the Reserve…

Russian Utility Bills Will Continue to Rise – But Slower

Russian daily Kommersant writes about the steadily rising utility bills in Russia. Annual price adjustments are scheduled for July and consequently don’t reveal the effect on heating bills until the winter. The good news, however, seems to be that the rises will no longer outpace inflation, at least according to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak. Cost…

Russian Government Dumps Business Zones

In today’s edition of Slon.ru, economist Vladislav Inozemtsev writes about President Putin’s decision to stop the expansion of special business zones and close some of the existing ones.  Management of the business zones, as well as their financing, will be transferred to respective local governments.  Russian Accounts Chamber, the government entity in charge of auditing…

Brexit, Another Worry for Russian Pensioners

Russian independent TV station Rain TV considers the possible impacts of Brexit on Russian pensions.  According to Deputy Finance Minister Ayrat Farrakhov, the primary concern for the Russian pension fund managers is the ensuing volatility on the financial markets.  However, the Russian Central Bank doesn’t think that Brexit represents a direct threat to the Russian economy,…

Svetlana Alexievich: Suffering is More Abundant Than Oil in the Russian World

Svetlana Alexievich was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 2015 for building a “monument to suffering and courage in our era“.  This was the first time that the award went to a professional journalist, but other circumstances were pretty much standard for the “Russian writer and Nobel Prize” scenario, writes discours.io.  Official and unofficial…

Russia Considers Tweaking the Tax System to Help Exporters

Russian Government is forced to consider extraordinary solutions to solve the budget deficit, writes business daily Vedomosti. One of the ideas is to increase the VAT at the expense of social contributions. The measure would help the employers and motivate them to report wages instead of paying them under the table. Federal sources were unwilling…

Ivanov is Wrong: Sanctions Hurt Russian Exporters

Russian daily Vedomosti writes about decreasing Russian exports to the EU in the period 2013-2015.  Some Russian government officials, most notably President’s Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov, stated that the international sanctions imposed after Russia’s annexation of Crimea are hurting the EU more than Russia.  However, the data indicates that total Russian exports to the…

Russia Remembers June 22, 1941

The single most tragic day in Russian history took place on June 22, 1941, when Wehrmacht launched an offensive on the USSR in spite of the Treaty of Non-aggression between the two countries signed in August 1939.  Russian daily Kommersant prepared a special multimedia section featuring testimonies of live witnesses and long deceased actors of the…

Personal Income in Russia Drops by 5.7% in Real Terms

Relying on the Russian Statistical Bureau’s data, Russian daily Gazeta.ru reports that personal income in Russia dropped by 5.7% in the year to May 2016. Average monthly salary in May was 36 570 rubles (USD 570), or 6.2% higher than a year ago. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin recently stated that real income in Moscow discontinued…

Vladimir Putin Promises to Protect Business from Law Enforcement Structures

But businessmen find little reason to believe him Russian daily Vedomosti reports on Vladimir Putin’s promise to continue the liberalization of the business climate in Russia at the recent St. Petersburg Economic Forum.  Measures include limiting the possibilities for unlawful prosecution, introduction of individual responsibility for law enforcement officials who cause damages to businesses, and…

Russian Budgetary Contortions

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is hoping for a budget that will provide for all social expenditures regardless of the circumstances, Russian daily Vedomosti reports. He stated that the Government shouldn’t expect positive developments on the commodities market, where Brent crude traded at around USD 50 per barrel this week. Russian Ministry of Finance based…