The latest US sanctions, which sent the Russian currency to its steepest drop in the past three years, surprisingly helped to boost the country’s budget with an extra 232 billion rubles ($3.8 billion).
The decline in the value of the ruble, as well as recent purchases of hard currency by the Central Bank of Russia, brought an additional inflow of money for the Russian government.
The re-assessment of foreign-exchange reserves shows that, at the peak of the ruble crash, when the national currency fell to over 65 rubles to one dollar, Russia's sovereign wealth fund reaped a profit of some 470 billion rubles ($7.6 billion). However, the subsequent strengthening of the Russian currency wiped out nearly half of the gains.
The unexpected earnings could reportedly help Russia’s Finance Ministry to register its first current budget surplus since 2011. The ministry will be able to monetize those assets at the end of the year, when the fund converts the foreign currencies into rubles for implementing budget spending…