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Weak oil prices deplete Russia’s sovereign-wealth fund


Weak oil prices are crippling Russia’s economy.

Russia is running out of emergency funds.

The country, which has been relying on its sovereign-wealth fund to plug gaps in its budget deficit, said its Reserve Fund is likely to be depleted in 2016. The news is another blow to an economy reeling from weak oil prices and Western-led sanctions in connection with fighting in Ukraine.

“Our reserves volume will decrease by approximately 2.6 trillion rubles ($40.85 billion) — more than half. This means that 2016 is the last year when we are able to spend our reserves that way. After that we will not have such resources,” Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told Tass, the government-owned news agency.

Tass reported that Russia’s budget deficit for 2016 is projected at 4.946 trillion rubles, or 6.7% of the gross domestic product. The Reserve Fund would cover most, but not all, of the shortfall.

“If the current oil prices and...