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Russian Finance Minister: Budget spending down or taxes up

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Staff writer ▼ | November 25, 2015
Russia will have to increase taxes in two or three years from now if it fails to cut its budget spending, the country's Finance Minister said, Interfax reported.
Anton Siluanov
Russia   Anton Siluanov warned about unpopular measures
Russia may run out of state revenues quickly if it fails to bring budget spending in line with real revenue, Anton Siluanov said. The price of oil, which is the country's key export, is expected to average $50 per barrel in the medium term which could limit revenue growth, Siluanov said.

Alexei Kudrin, Russia's prominent former finance minister, has repeatedly said that without unpopular measures such as raising the retirement age and without substantial changes to the budget, the government will have no other option but to raise taxes.

Mr. Siluanov's warning to raise taxes in the next few years fits expectations that Russia is unlikely to proceed with unpopular measures in the near term as they may cause social discontent, something that Moscow is not willing to deal with ahead of parliamentary elections in 2016 and a presidential vote in 2018.