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Russia cuts funding of geological surveys by 20%

Russia's Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy.

The cuts in state funding are connected both to the increasing monopolization of the sector and to the difficult economic situation, Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy said.

State funding of geological surveys in Russia will be cut by 20 percent in 2015 – from 35.2 billion rubles to 28.4 billion rubles, Donskoy said at the Eastern Economic Forum, which opened in Vladivostok today.

Donskoy has earlier said that he expected cuts to be around 10 percent, RIA Novosti reports.

The cuts-backs are connected to the difficult foreign and domestic economic situation, the lag in economic growth and the unfavorable situation on the commodity markets, he explained.

The Ministry is planning to replace shrinking state funding with private investments, and is working to find new mechanisms to stimulate more geological surveys.

According to RIA Novosti the total amount of state and private investments in geological surveys in Russia in 2014 amounted to 340 billion rubles.