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Russia risks recession but sticks to fiscal rule - PM

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia risks sliding into recession because of falling commodity prices and will consider stimulus measures, but the government will stick to its adopted fiscal rule, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.

He made his comments following a recent cut in Russia's economic growth forecast by one third to 2.4 percent because of weaker exports, lacklustre investments and slower consumer spending.

In a speech to the lower house of parliament, Medvedev expressed concern about the impact that lower commodity prices and slowing global economic growth could have on Russia, which is heavily dependent on energy exports.

He said President Vladimir Putin would soon hold a meeting with the government and experts on how to apply stimulus measures to shore up stagnating growth.

But he said the government was committed to a recently-adopted fiscal rule that bases spending plans on the long-term average oil price and caps the budget deficit at one percent of GDP.

"This rule is very important in the period when in other countries ... there is recession and ultimately it may happen to us at a time when there is a risk of commodity prices falling," Medvedev said.

(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya, writing by Maya Dyakina and Megan Davies, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130417/russia-risks-recession-sticks-fiscal-rule-pm