Russia could deplete 1 of its 2 rainy day funds by 2018

MOSCOW – A Russian official says one of the country’s two rainy-day funds could be depleted by the end of next year as the government tries to fill its budget deficit.

Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told the Tass news agency Wednesday that the Reserve Fund, which contains $38 billion, could run out by the end of 2017.

Russia has been running budget deficits since 2014, when its economy was hit by Western sanctions and dropping energy prices.

The government had been saving money made on the sale of oil since the 2000s and sees the two funds as the country’s ultimate safety net. The second fund, the National Welfare Fund, currently holds twice as much as the Reserve Fund.

Officials say they’re not expecting a budget surplus for another three years.