NOVO-OGARYOVO (Moscow Region) (Sputnik) — Russia's economy needs to lower its dependence on oil prices, the country's President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.
"It is necessary to ensure the balance and sustainability of public finances, significantly reduce the budget's dependence on oil prices, [financial] quotes," Putin said during a budget meeting.
The Russian leader assessed the economic situation as challenging but not critical and called on economic policymakers to preserve the role of the federal budget as the leading instrument of development.
"In the current circumstances it is particularly important to have a package of measures to overcome a recession in the economy," Putin addressed the heads of the Presidential Administration, Federation Council, State Duma, and ministers of the government's economic bloc.
The planned budget deficit for next year should not exceed 3 percent of GDP. This is one of the most important reference points for the government in the budget process," Putin said.
"To reach this level, I ask you to very carefully look at the budget's revenue, improve the administration, and the collection of taxes," the president added.
Russia’s economic performance has experienced a slowdown since mid-2014, largely attributed to global oil prices that have more than halved due to market oversupply.