“We expect up to a trillion rubles more in oil and gas revenues,” Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on state television on Friday, referring to the latest forecast by the Ministry of Economic Development. Part of the additional income could be used to continue the Russian offensive in Ukraine.
The government wants to spend the extra revenue this year rather than set it aside, he said. The money should be spent on “additional payments” for pensioners and families with children and for the “special operation” in Ukraine, the finance minister said, citing Russia’s war of aggression in pro-western Ukraine.
The West has imposed a series of sanctions on Moscow to punish the Kremlin for sending troops to Ukraine.
So far, Russia’s oil and gas supplies have been exempt from the sanctions. Russia is currently raking in record revenues because of the very high gas price.
The EU member states want to become less dependent on fossil fuels from Russia, but they have not yet been able to agree on a planned oil embargo because of a blockade by Hungary.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently ridiculed the sanctions and declared that the European countries would only harm themselves with their “chaotic actions”.