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11

Russian Ministers Cause Inflation Using Oil Revenues

President Vladimir Putin on Monday warned cabinet ministers and lawmakers against using oil revenues

President Vladimir Putin on Monday warned cabinet ministers and lawmakers against using oil revenues to finance populist projects and push inflation even higher, the Associated Press reported.

The President said that the 2006 budget should be ?a budget of development, not of squandering.?

Record-high world oil prices have led to windfall oil revenues for Russia and its rainy-day Stabilization Fund. Pressure is growing from some lawmakers and government ministers to use the fund to pay for new programs, such as infrastructure projects.

?I ask you ? both the cabinet and the Duma ? to take a balanced approach, not to resort to slogans and actions that are attractive to ordinary citizens on the surface, but which in practice could lead to harsh consequences for the whole country and the electorate itself,? Putin told ministers.