According to Putin, different ideas have been voiced on what caused the current slump in global economic prices and on how the situation will unfold, but the Russian government “cannot say anything for certain".
Over the past five months, oil prices have fallen by over $40 per barrel, hitting a five-year low. The trend became even stronger as the OPEC meeting in November resulted in a decision to keep the current daily oil production ceiling at 30 million barrels, immediately causing the price of Brent crude to fall below the benchmark level of $75 per barrel.
Crude accounts for a considerable portion of Russia's revenue. The decline in oil prices was accompanied by a rapid depreciation of the Russian ruble against other world currencies in the last two weeks.