The Russian ruble has dropped to a new low, battered by weak oil prices, the Associated Press reports.
The national currency was down 1.7 percent at 78.9 rubles to the dollar in late afternoon trading Monday, Jan 18, in Moscow, its lowest mid-trading level since December 2014.
Oil prices that the Russian economy relies on have recently plummeted to under $30 a barrel, a 13-year low. The ruble is also under pressure from economic sanctions that the West imposed on Russia for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
Russia is running a budget deficit of 3 percent of GDP this year, and the government is looking to give a 10 percent trim to expenses in the federal budget which was drafted with oil prices of $50 a barrel in mind.