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Medvedev To Discuss Measures To Balance Budget

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will hold a special meeting to discuss ways to balance this year’s federal budget, the government press service says.

"The dramatic movement of oil prices that we have seen in the past weeks, especially in the last few days, creates rather serious risks for the budget," Medvedev warned on January 15.

Oil prices have plunged 70 percent in the past 15 months to $32 a barrel.

The government, which approved its 2016 budget based on oil at $50, needs to raise additional revenue and cut costs.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said this month that Russia's Reserve Fund could be exhausted by the end of 2016 if no measures are taken.

The budget shortfall for 2015 is expected to be $41 billion, he also said.

Oil and natural gas contribute nearly half of Russia's budget revenue.

Based on reporting by TASS and Bloomberg

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