Oil costs Russia $140bn

THE falling oil price is costing Russia up to $100 billion a year, while Western sanctions have hit the country by $40 billion, its finance minister has said.

Anton Siluanov made the comments on Monday at an international financial and economic forum in Moscow.

Reports on Monday suggested Russia could cut its oil production by about 300,000 barrels a day in an attempt to support the oil price.

Opec members meet in Vienna this week where falling prices will be discussed.

Vladimir Putin has said that Russia could suffer "catastrophic consequences" from sanctions, the falling oil price and the sliding rouble, while claiming they would have knock-on effects for other countries.

"The modern world is interdependent. It’s far from guaranteed that sanctions, the steep fall in oil prices and the loss of value of the national currency will lead to negative results or catastrophic consequences only for us," the Russian president told TASS, the official news agency, on Sunday.

The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions on Russia following its annexation of the Crimea region in Ukraine and its alleged involvement in eastern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, member of the Opec oil cartel may decide to cut production to support prices. Brent crude was trading at $80.25 a barrel on Monday, down 11 cents, while US crude was 10 cents lower at $76.41.

Iran, Libya and Venezuela have urged other Opec members to support oil prices by reducing output, although Kuwait has said that a cut was unlikely.

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