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Russia's Credit Rating Downgraded To Junk

Moody's Investors Service has cut Russia's credit rating to junk grade.

Moody's downgraded Russia's sovereign rating to Ba1 from Baa3, citing the impact from the Ukraine crisis as well as the steep fall in oil prices and the rouble exchange rate.

Standard & Poor's downgraded Russia's rating to junk last month.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Moody's downgrade was based on "factors of a political character."

Siluanov said the downgrade was based on "unrealistic" forecasts with "no analogies," as the agency had made pessimistic assumptions that went well beyond forecasts by the IMF, World Bank, and international banks.

Russia's economy has been hit by the double impact of weaker energy prices as well as Western sanctions over its role in Ukraine.

The Russian economy is expected to contract by 4 to 5 percent this year for the first time since President Vladimir Putin took the helm in 2000.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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