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Fitch cuts Russia outlook due to political risk

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Jan. 16, 2012, 1:50 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

Chairman of Central Election Commission Vladimir Churov, left, speaks with radio station's editor-in-chief Alexei Venediktov during his interview at the Echo Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio station in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012.
© AP

MOSCOW (AP) — Fitch ratings agency has downgraded the outlook on Russia's debt rating to stable, citing political uncertainty. Fitch Ratings said in a statement Monday it has changed its outlook from positive to stable.

That means it is less likely to upgrade the country, which has been relatively unaffected by the European debt crisis and recently enjoyed profits from rising oil prices.

Fitch cited both the potential impact of weakening global growth and domestic political uncertainty.

Russia's parliamentary election last month triggered a wave of public discontent over alleged vote fraud, including the largest protest rallies in the post-Soviet era.

Fitch said that although there is little doubt Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will win March's presidential election, it is unclear how he will respond to the protests.
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