Russia is reportedly weighing a $50 billion tax hike on oil and gas exports as its resilience to sanctions fades
- Russia's finance ministry is considering plans to raise taxes on energy exports, Kommersant reported.
- The tax hike proposals could bolster the government's budget by around $50 billion.
The Kremlin is weighing up plans to hike oil and gas taxes in a bid to bolster next year's federal budget, according to a report, as western sanctions appear to be taking a heavier toll on Russia's economy.
The new levy would raise around 1.4 trillion rubles ($50 billion), according to Russian newspaper Kommersant, which cited sources familiar with the matter.
Russia's government wants to raise export duties on natural gas to up to 50% and to introduce a new tax on liquefied natural gas exports, Kommersant said.
The finance ministry has also reportedly proposed a plan to hike taxes on oil exports.
News of potential tax hikes comes as experts say that Russia's isolation from global markets is starting to damage its economy.
The US and the European Union have imposed embargoes on Russian oil, while major gas importer Germany hit its winter storage targets two months early as it tries to wean itself off of Russian fuel.
Oil and gas exports account for around 45% of Russia's federal budget, according to the International Energy Agency.
The finance ministry has stopped publishing monthly reports since war in Ukraine broke out in February, but documents reviewed by Bloomberg showed it had lost billions from western sanctions, with its budget surplus falling by 137 billion rubles ($2.1 billion) as of August.
"The fact that they're not publishing a lot of economic data indicates that they know there are costs, but they would like to hide the extent of those costs," Don Hanna, an economist at UC Berkeley told Insider last week. "All of that is designed to obscure the consequences of the invasion of the Ukraine on the Russian economy."
Revenue from oil and gas exports has also fallen because of the ruble's appreciation against the US dollar - with Russia's currency soaring 112% against the greenback since hitting its 2022 low on 8 March.
A strong ruble chips away at Russia's income from oil and gas exports because both of those commodities are valued in dollars, or other non-ruble currencies, on international markets. When Russia converts its energy revenues back into rubles, a high exchange rate means it's losing money.
Russia's Ministry of Finance did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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