By Daniel Hunter
Russia could fall into a complete economic crisis next year as its oil and gas revenues continue to plummet.
Gazprom, Russia's state-owned gas firm, has seen output fall 19% to its lowest ever levels. According to a report by Sberbank, oil and gas reserve funds are likely to be obliterated next year as Gazprom's revenues fall by almost a third to $106 billion.
Gazprom is particularly crucial to the Russian economy, generating 10% of its entire GDP. Half of Russia's tax income comes from oil and gas firms.
The economy also contracted by 4.9% over the past year as economic sanctions imposed by the EU and US over the conflict in the UKraine continue to take effect.
Oil prices remain low, as well, causing a further dent in Russia's outlook.
“Russia is going to be in a very difficult fiscal situation by 2017,” said Lubomir Mitov from Unicredit. “By the end of next year there won’t be any money left in the oil reserve fund and there is a humongous deficit in the pension fund. They are running a budget deficit of 3.7pc of GDP but without developed capital markets Russia can't really afford to run a deficit at all.”
According to the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, 25% of Russia's regions are effectively in default. Local authorities continue to struggle with rising inflation, rising salaries and welfare costs.