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    Russia's budget deficit to hit 7.4% of GDP in 2009 - Putin

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    Russia's federal budget deficit will reach 3 trillion rubles ($88 billion) in 2009 amid the ongoing financial crisis, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

    MOSCOW, March 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's federal budget deficit will reach 3 trillion rubles ($88 billion) in 2009 amid the ongoing financial crisis, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

    "Revenues will total 6.7 trillion rubles [$198 billion] and expenditures 9.7 trillion rubles [287 billion], with the deficit of 3 trillion rubles, which is almost 50% of revenues or 7.4% of GDP," Putin said.

    At the same time, the premier said he believed it unreasonable and dangerous to resort to printing money to cover the country's budget deficit.

    "The deficit problem must be resolved through civilized, internationally recognized methods - from reserves accumulated in previous years or, if the need arises - but I want to point out that we have had no need for this approach so far - through loans on market conditions," Putin said.

    Putin added that Russia would have to live with a budget deficit for the next several years.

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