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Russia to cut budget spending by another 15% - paper


MOSCOW, February 16 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government has instructed ministries to cut spending by another 15% on top of the 15% budget cuts approved late last year, a business paper reported on Monday.

Budget cuts will affect all budget fund recipients, except courts. The biggest cut will hit the Energy Ministry (33%) and the Transport Ministry (30%), while the least affected will be the Education Ministry (11%), the State Duma (12%) and the Foreign Ministry (12%), Vedomosti reported, referring to officials from several ministries.

The figure for each ministry depends on the number of protected budget spending items, such as wages, stipends, other social obligations, debt service, and also expenditures on the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi and the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Vladivostok in Russia's Far East in 2012, the paper reported.

The budget sequester will enable the government to save 1.5 trillion rubles ($43 billion), bringing the total budget reduction figure to 17%, as only unprotected budget items were cut by 15% in both cases, Yelena Lebedinskaya from the Economic Expert Group told Vedomosti.

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