In a CNBC Exclusive Interview, Russian Finance Minister, Anton Siluanov, told the business network that Russia would consider giving financial help to debt-ridden Greece.
CNBC's Geoff Cutmore asked Siluanov; "Can you imagine a situation here if Athens asked you for financial support you would be willing to give some financial aid to the Greek government over the next few months?"
Siluanov responded; "Well we can imagine any situation. But if such a petition is submitted to the Russian government, we will definitely consider it but we’ll take into account all of the factors of our bilateral relationship between Russia and Greece. So that’s that’s all I can say -- if it is submitted, we will consider it."
On Western Sanctions
CNBC’s Geoff Cutmore; "Even as we’re speaking to each other, we know that there’s a meeting going on in Brussels they’re talking about potentially another round of sanctions. Can I ask you, how worried are you that another round of sanctions at this stage, would cause a crisis in confidence in the Russian economy?"
Anton Siluanov: "Well it has always been our official position that we are against any form of capital or trade controls - and of course any sanctions are harmful because they cause a slowdown in the global economy. And the sanctions that have already been imposed against Russia did negatively affect us. However, Russia companies have adjusted, and Russia’s balance of payments have adjusted, the rouble weakened, and as you might be able to see life still goes on here and we just keep on living.
"Our estimate is that last year the Russian economy experienced two kinds of external shocks - one is from oil prices and another from sanctions. The cumulative effect of those shocks is around 200 billion US dollars - maybe a little more, but the main, major influence was the fall in oil prices. Our estimate on the sanctions is a roughly 40-50 billion shortage of capital, but again the main driver of this slowdown is the oil price."