Russia’s budget had a monthly deficit of 892 billion rubles in July, Russian business newspaper Kommersant reported, canceling most of the accumulated surplus in the first half of the year.
Revenues from Jan-July exceeded expenditure but the gap decreased by two-thirds from 1.4 trillion to 482 billion rubles, the newspaper said quoting finance ministry figures.
Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has forecast a budget deficit of up to 2% of GDP for 2022.
Most of the budgetary surplus was accumulated in the first quarter of the year (the war started on Feb. 24), while revenues slumped in the second quarter as sanctions bit combined with the cost of the military invasion of Ukraine (Kommersant used the term ‘military operation’ as reporting is restricted in Russia.)
Economic results for the first seven months of the year show 15.8 trillion rubles income (16% more than in 2021, adjusted for inflation), and expenditure was 15.3 trillion (21% more compared to last year).
Kommersant, however, said the situation is worse than it looks. A new policy blocking access to some information, means the figures for last month are not publicly available.
It said that July income of 1.76 trillion rubles, is one-fourth less than a year earlier, and noticeably lower than the average monthly income in the first half of this year (2.34 trillion rubles per month).
At the same time, both oil and gas revenues, as well as non-oil and gas revenues decreased in July – by 23% and 29%, respectively, compared to July last year.
Revenues for gas and oil July were 259 billion rubles (approx. $4.2 billion) in July, the finance ministry said.
The ministry announced that additional revenue from the country’s oil and natural gas exports would not be added to reserves this year due to sanctions, but would be used to support the economy.
The drop in revenue could be linked to measures taken by the EU to distance themselves from Russian oil and gas.
EU envoys approved the bloc’s sixth sanctions package against Russia, with measures including a partial oil embargo on June 2.
The sanctions package covers a ban on Russian seaborne oil imports, which could cut 92% of Russia oil trade into the bloc by the end of this year.
EU countries also reached a political agreement on July 26 to cut gas use by 15% through next winter ahead of possible cuts from Russia.