MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Moody’s said the "stabilization of Russia's external finances, resulting from a macroeconomic adjustment that has helped to mitigate the effect of the fall in oil prices on official FX reserves" was one of the drivers behind the Thursday decision.
According to the ratings agency, it is unlikely that the Russian economy will face severe challenges in the next 12-18 months, especially since the conflict in Ukraine has eased and further anti-Russia sanctions are not expected.
"The rating agency said other positive rating developments would come from a further diminution of Russia's exposure to financial or economic shocks, such as might be expected were there to be further progress on resolving the Ukraine conflict such that international sanctions were loosened or removed," Moody’s Thursday statement said.
The rating agency predicted that Russia’s external financial position will remain strong despite weak oil and gas prices.
The restrictive measures followed the reunification of Crimea with Russia in the spring of 2014 and an escalation of the Ukrainian crisis later that year. The West repeatedly accused Moscow of meddling in Ukrainian internal affairs, while Russia denied the allegations, stressing they lacked factual evidence.
In January, the Russian government unveiled an anti-crisis plan to stabilize and improve the country's economy by 2017.