According to the IMF, Russia’s economy would fall into recession for one to two years if oil prices were to drop to $50 a barrel next year and remain that low. The Fund has asserted that ‘fundamental reforms’ must take place to ensure future financial stability and growth. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has himself seconded these worries, stating that Russia’s non-oil deficit remains a ‘source of concern’. The Cabinet has approved next year’s budget, which will see increased revenue from Gazprom and the doubling of salaries in the armed forces and police. The government also plans to allocate 1.3 trillion rubles in the next three years to road building. The New York Times has a report on Russia’s $20-billion plan for bringing economic prosperity to the terror-ridden mountains of the North Caucasus through tourist infrastructure. A defiant Andrei Borodin, former head of the Bank of Moscow, the lender which endured a high-profile $14 billion state bailout, has told the Moscow Times that he will ‘be less quiet about things going on in Russia and will continue to be so’. The license of the airline operating the Yak-42 jet that crashed earlier this month, killing all of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team, has been revoked.