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Russia faces losses of about $140bn a year due to lower oil prices and sanctions imposed on the country by the West, according to its finance minister.

Russia Finance Minister Anton Siluanov was quoted by Reuters as saying: "We’re losing around $40bn a year because of geopolitical sanctions and about $90bn to $100bn from oil prices falling by 30%.

"The main issue that affects the budget and economy and financial system, this is the price of oil and the fall in monetary flows from the sale of energy resources."

Earlier this year, the European Union (EU) agreed a package of additional restrictive measures against Russia, targeting the country’s oil sector, because of the nation’s alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

The sanctions will reduce Russia’s access to certain sensitive technologies that could be used for oil production and exploration.

The US and EU have both imposed targeted sanctions against various Russian officials and firms in response to the annexation of Crimea.

The US agreed to block the export of specific goods and technologies to the Russian energy sector.

"We’re losing around $40bn a year because of geopolitical sanctions and about $90bn to $100bn from oil prices falling by 30%."

Several reports suggest that Russia may reduce its oil output by about 300,000 barrels a day to support prices.

Siluanov believes that the decline in oil prices will have a more significant impact on the Russian economy than the international sanctions.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is due to meet in Vienna on 27 November to discuss its oil production policy.

Libya, Iran and Venezuela have urged fellow members to support oil prices via production cuts, while Kuwait continues to say a reduction is unlikely.


Image: Russia Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. Photo: courtesy of Government.ru.

Energy