Russia’s Jan. budget deficit widens as energy revenues slump

February 6, 202310:49 AM CST By Darya Korsunskaya and Alexander Marrow – Reuters

A general view shows the port in Vladivostok
A general view shows the port in Vladivostok, Russia September 5, 2022. REUTERS/Vladimir Soldatkin
  • Summary
  • Russia budget deficit soars to around $25 bln in Jan
  • Energy revenues down 46.5%, total revenues slump 35.1%
  • Spending jumped almost 60% in Jan year-on-year
  • Western sanctions squeeze Russia’s financial clout
  • This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

MOSCOW, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Slumping energy revenues and soaring expenditure pushed Russia’s federal budget to a deficit of 1.76 trillion roubles ($24.78 billion) in January, as sanctions and the cost of Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine choke the economy’s prospects.

Citing preliminary data, Russia’s finance ministry said on Monday oil and gas revenues were 46.4% lower at 426 billion roubles in January than in the same month last year, which it put down primarily to lower prices for Russia’s Urals blend and lower volumes of natural gas exports.

Non-oil and gas revenues were 28% lower at 981 billion roubles, attributed to lower domestic VAT and income tax takings.

Overall, budget revenues for the month were down 35.1%, while spending was 58.7% higher in January 2023, at 3.12 trillion roubles, already more than 10% of the full-year spending plan.

Moscow relies on income from oil and gas – last year around 11.6 trillion roubles – to fund its budget spending, and has been forced to start selling international FX reserves to cover a deficit stretched by the cost of the Ukraine conflict.


While some Russian officials have sought to downplay the efficacy of price caps and embargoes on Russian energy exports, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said last year that a price ceiling on Russian oil could widen the budget deficit in 2023.

As a consequence of sanctions, Moscow has been forced to sell energy at a large discount and, although the 2023 budget is based on a Urals price of $70.10 per barrel, the average price for Russia’s main blend in January was $49.48 a barrel, down 42% on January 2022.

Finance Ministry Response Sanctions

The ministry said on Monday it was studying ways to switch to an alternative price indicator for tax purposes, as the Urals oil price was becoming less representative of export prices for Russian oil.

January’s deficit already stands at 60% of the whole year’s plan of 2.93 trillion roubles and analysts expect the shortfall to widen to more than 5 trillion roubles if current conditions persist.

Russia’s main sources of covering the budget deficit are domestic borrowing, which it stepped up sharply in the final quarter of 2022, and its rainy day fund of accumulated energy revenues.

On Monday, the ministry said the National Wealth Fund (NWF) stood at $155 billion, with 38.5 billion roubles worth of Chinese yuan and gold spent in January to cover the deficit.

($1 = 71.0320 roubles)


  1. What should be pain for the Russian people seems to translate as patriotism although they cannot speak about it. The rouble has halved since Putin’s 2014 invasion, millions have left the blighted place, there are sanctions on practically every sector, travel virtually stopped, foreign goods are gone and yet the people support Putin’s war crimes in Ukraine. Putin would be considered a failure everywhere on earth except Moskovia.

  2. In Russia, the script is flipped upside-down. And, for Russian citizens, this means they’re seeing a distorted reality of their nation’s war.
    The Russian people may start feeling the new reality soon,.There’s a certain level that you just simply can’t escape, the fact that your economy is tanking and your people are dying.

  3. Blah, blah, blah, is all I can say.
    What big plans there were to trounce all over mafia land’s economy. We’ll take away their ability to earn revenues that finance this war. The economy will sink faster than the Titanic. Unprecedented sanctions will slam them to the ground.
    Blah, blah, blah.
    We’re approaching one full year of war and nothing has changed to help slow down the war efforts. The ruskie slaves are willing to eat grass and freeze to help their Führer commit genocide. We have a long way to go to make any changes in their line of thought. Other trash countries have even emerged to help the cockroaches wage this war, directly and indirectly. Two of them are also under sanctions. Harsh sanctions. One is our biggest business partner. One is the world’s largest democracy. One is a NATO member.
    Ridiculous! Crazy! Insane!
    We should sit down and re-think our methodology. The current ones are completely futile, at least as far as achieving what they were supposed to achieve is concerned.

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