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    Fitch Ratings Revises Outlook for Russia to Stable

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    The outlook for Russia’s long-term financial risk rating has been revised from negative to stable and affirmed at ‘BBB-‘, Fitch Ratings said in a release on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Russian economy suffered a setback in 2014, as the ruble lost about half of its value against the US dollar amid low global oil prices and Western economic sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.

    Russia’s GDP fell 3.7 percent in 2015, according to the Russian Federal Statistics Service Rosstat.

    "A flexible exchange rate, inflation targeting, fiscal consolidation and financial sector support have allowed the economy to adjust and domestic confidence to return gradually," Fitch stated in the release.

    The rating firm pointed out that Russia has implemented a "credible policy response" to lower oil prices, which stands out compared to other oil-producing nations.

    In addition, Fitch said Russia is shaping a medium-term fiscal strategy that would lower the government deficit.

    "We project a decline in the general government deficit to 1.5 percent of GDP in 2018 from 4 percent in 2016," the firm noted.

    The Russian economy is recovering, Fitch pointed out, but stated that it expects weak growth of 1.3 percent in 2017, and 2 percent in 2018.

    "Fitch assumes that EU and US sanctions remain in place over the medium term, but are not tightened significantly," the release added.

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