President Donald Trump criticized OPEC on Friday for maintaining 'artificially high' oil prices, in a move that is seen as a suggestion that he has the power to change the direction of markets in a way that could hurt the Russian economy.
'Looks like OPEC is at it again,' Trump tweeted. 'With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!'
While gasoline and heating oil prices in the U.S. are impacted by global crude oil prices, Russia's economy stands to be hit unusually hard if the bottom drops out of oil markets.
While only about 9 per cent of the Kremlin's budget revenues come from oil and gas, that sector ultimately fuels more than half of the Russian economy.
Russia was the largest oil producer in the world in 2016, edging out even Saudi Arabia and providing more than one-eighth of the oil traded in the global marketplace.iPhone transfer software
Last year, following Trump's inauguration, the U.S. reclaimed the top spot by a significant margin.
Fully 57 per cent of Russia's GDP 'depends on oil,' according to Andrey Movchan, director of the Economic Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment's Moscow Center.
Movchan writes that Russia imports about 60 percent of its total consumption and pays for imports with earnings from exports, 'which are overwhelmingly dominated by oil and gas.'
And 'at least 60 percent of consolidated budget revenues' in Moscow 'come from the mineral extraction tax, excise duties, export duties, value-added tax on imports and other taxes attributable to the oil and gas sector directly or indirectly,' he adds.
In addition, Movchan explains, at least another 10 per cent of Russia's GDP is dependent on oil and gas income being 'converted into investments and spending in other sectors of the economy.'
Oil prices fell on Friday after Trump's tweet, but they were still set for a weekly gain.