Asia - Pacific

Russian PM warns COVID-19 eating budget allocation

Mikhail Mishustin tells MPs budget also hit by freefall in oil markets

Elena Teslova   | 09.04.2020
Russian PM warns COVID-19 eating budget allocation

MOSCOW

The Russian government recently published a number of decrees that revises the allocation of the state funds as prime minister warned Thursday the budget will be seriously hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Changes were made to support domains worst-hit by the virus and financing was increased by cutting programs for rural and Arctic development.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin told MPs the budget is also being hit by oil markets that are in freefall, provoked by the virus.

Measures to support the economy are an additional strain on the budget and can be increased as more steps may be needed, he said.

"We will receive less income - oil and gas, non-oil and gas - this year because of the coronavirus. This will be a very serious blow to the budget, and we need to plan everything in a balanced way in order to meet the task of ensuring all budgets – regional, local and federal – and help business," he said.

The number of virus cases keeps growing in Russia, reaching a new daily high Thursday of 1,459, taking the tally past 10,000.

The death toll stands at 76 after 13 fatalities – also the highest daily count to date – were reported in the past 24 hours.

Since appearing in China in December, the virus has spread to at least 184 countries and regions, according to figures compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

More than 1.5 million cases have been reported worldwide, with nearly 90,000 deaths, and almost 340,000 recoveries.

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