"The drop in oil prices from $100 to $45 a barrel, in our estimation, leads to a decrease in revenues from oil exports by roughly $160 billion per year," Elvira Nabiullina told reporters in Moscow.
"It is a rather large sum. Considering that Russia's overall exports amount to about $500 billion, you can imagine the impact of [dropping] oil prices on our balance of payments and economy," Nabiullina stressed.
Heavily reliant on revenue from oil exports, the Russian economy has been deeply impacted by falling oil prices over the past eight months. Global oil prices had seen relative stability at around $110 per barrel from 2010 until June 2014, when a market surplus drove down the cost of oil.
Crude prices sank even lower in November 2014, when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), following the lead of Saudi Arabia, announced their intention to maintain output levels.
Coupled with sanctions adopted against Russia's banking and defense sectors by the United States, the European Union and its allies, 2014 and the start of 2015 have triggered an economic downturn in Russia.