Ukraine Russia, Putin taxes the extra-profits of gas and oil to finance the war-

Ukraine Russia, Putin taxes the extra-profits of gas and oil to finance the war-
Ukraine Russia, Putin taxes the extra-profits of gas and oil to finance the war-
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from Federico Fubini

The plan anticipated by the newspaper Kommersant. It is the effect of the sanctions that are putting the Russian economy to the test

Three days ago, Kommersant has published a rumor that says more about sanctions on Russia than they know European governments who decided them. He writes the Moscow newspaper that the government “could raise the withdrawal on the Russian gas and oil companies of three trillion rubles “, that is, of 50 billion euros: an enormous amount, in an economy smaller than the Italian one. But if the Kremlin he thinks about taxing energy extra-profits, it is not to help families or businesses: he needs resources to throw into the war, because European measures are starting to bite into his budget.

The latest figures are those of August and they say that, apparently, everything is fine. After six months of war the Russian state is still in surplus, of the equivalent of 2.2 billion euros (0.1% of the Russian gross product). Yet look at the last month before it fell censorship on most of the Russian statistics – last April – shows that the balance sheet surplus accumulated by Russia at the time was ten times higher. Four months of war have blown a budget surplus from twenty billiondespite the very high prices of the gas and although Europe is continuing to buy the oil of the Russian giants.

On this basis, the mobilization forced by hundreds of thousands of men and European sanctions will only reduce the room for maneuver of the Kremlin. In 2023 the European Union will stop buying Russian oil and the G7 sanctions will aim to block the

price of crude oil
and the refined products that Moscow sells to the rest of the world. Furthermore, Europe will stop buying the 170 billion cubic meters of gas it imported from Gazprom and the absence of gas pipelines to other countries will almost completely collapse Russian methane exports.

Here comes the financial problem of Vladimir Putin, because the levies on gas and oil represent 38% of all government revenues, but this budget item seems destined to shrink by at least a third. The Kremlin probably loses at least 40 billion euros – as if the Italian government lost sixty – even before financing the new “partial mobilization”: it means paying hundreds of new military salaries after the conscripts, according to the Ministry of Defense, will have to be fired from their current jobs. Hence the plan of extraordinary taxes to extract resources from the giants of gas and oil. But companies are already responding that they will react by dumping the increases on companies and families, who will thus feel the cost of war more and more on their skin. «Kommersant» gives space even to the first protests: «The gas sector and especially Gazprom – we read – already have to deal with the challenge of redirecting exports towards Asia, given the loss of the European market. And this will require trillions of rubles ». For Putin, the blanket is getting shorter and shorter.

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September 23, 2022 (change September 23, 2022 | 00:32)


The article is in Italian

Tags: Ukraine Russia Putin taxes extraprofits gas oil finance war Corriere .it

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