(Adds quotes, detail)
MOSCOW Oct 12 Russia's proceeds from selling
stakes in state companies will fall in the next few years,
prompting Moscow to borrow more to prevent state funds from
running out, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday.
Facing a rapid drop in the price of oil, Russia's key
export, Moscow had to uncork its Reserve Fund this year but is
now running out of ways to plug budget holes.
"We can't endlessly spend our reserves," Siluanov told an
The finance ministry will cut spending from the Reserve Fund
to keep it at a "sufficient level" in the next three years,
Siluanov said without elaborating.
Previously, the finance ministry had said it would burn
through the Reserve Fund by next year, which was accumulated
over years of high oil prices and stood at $32.3 billion as of
This year, Russia will also use proceeds from selling stakes
in state companies to cover budget spending. Russia has already
raised 52 billion roubles ($835 million) by selling a stake in
diamond company Alrosa.
It plans to raise a total of up to one trillion roubles by
the end of the year, with sales including a stake in the
country's top oil producer Rosneft and mid-size oil
Looking forward, Russia does not have ambitious
privatisation plans: the 2017 budget envisages 130 billion
roubles in proceeds from the sale of stakes in the country's
No.2 lender VTB and shipping company Sovcomflot,
"When preparing budgets for 2018-2020 there is a need to go
back to it (privatisation) to lower spending of reserves on one
hand, and to lower the share of state presence in the economy,
on the other," Siluanov said.
Alexei Ulyukayev, Russia's Economy Minister, was more
optimistic about privatisation prospects. He told the same
economic conference that Russia may raise up to 300 billion
roubles a year from selling stakes in state companies.
($1 = 62.2255 roubles)
(Reporting by Alex Winning and Katya Golubkova; Writing by
Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Toby Chopra)