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    Russia posted $1.5 bln budget deficit in first quarter - Kudrin

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    Russia posted a budget deficit of 50 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) or 0.1% of the country's gross domestic product in the first quarter, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Thursday.

    MOSCOW, April 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia posted a budget deficit of 50 billion rubles ($1.5 billion) or 0.1% of the country's gross domestic product in the first quarter, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Thursday.

    At a meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev, Kudrin said that the budget deficit was not large.

    According to the finance minister, federal budget revenues declined by 473 billion rubles ($14.16 billion) or 24.5% in the first quarter on the same period of last year while expenditures increased by 447 billion rubles ($13.38 billion) or 33.6%.

    Kudrin said federal budget expenditures increased in the first quarter as the government allocated additional funds for the implementation of anti-crisis measures, in particular, measures to support the pension system, regional governments and key sectors of the economy, such as the defense complex and the auto industry.

    Kudrin said the largest budget deficits were expected in the second, third and, possibly, fourth quarters as the government spent more on anti-crisis measures.

    Kudrin said the federal budget deficit, which is expected to reach 7.4% of GDP in 2009, would be covered with resources from the Reserve Fund.

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