SOVEREIGN ECONOMY: TOP EVENTS OF THE WEEK
The planned budget deficit of the Russian Federation has already been exceeded in the first four months. According to preliminary data from the Ministry of Finance, the federal budget for January-April showed a deficit of 3.4 trillion rubles. The deficit for the entire year is planned to be about 2.9 trillion rubles. Thus, after four months, the federal budget deficit is ahead of the forecast for the whole year.
Oil and gas revenues for January-April declined by 52% to 2.282 trillion rubles. The main factors determining the negative trend were the sanctions against Russia, which led to a decrease in natural gas export volumes and a reduction in Russian Urals crude oil quotes.
Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) promises to reduce its business in Russia. It continues to work on potential deals that will result in the sale or withdrawal of the Russian Raiffeisenbank group from the RBI perimeter. The RBI group in Russia includes Raiffeisenbank, leasing, insurance, and management companies.
Sberbank has opened its first branch in Crimea. Currently, a limited number of banks operate in Crimea, all of which have been under external restrictions for many years. Like other systemically important Russian banks, Sberbank refrained from working in Crimea to avoid international sanctions. However, such precautions became meaningless after it became a subject to blocking sanctions by the United States in early April 2022, followed by several other countries.
The European Commission has announced the first tender for joint procurement, as a part of reducing dependence on Russian gas strategy. Currently, 107 companies have registered to participate in joint gas purchases through the recently created "AggregateEU" mechanism. AggregateEU is a new gas trading platform in Europe that will help the European industry to establish new commercial relationships with alternative gas suppliers in the context of the EU's phased withdrawal from Russian gas.