Moody's Keeps Russian Sovereign Rating, Lowers Outlook
International rating agency Moody's maintained Russia's sovereign-debt rating at Baa1, but changed its outlook from stable to negative, a message on its website shows.
It says the country's economy could shrink by 1.7% between 2014 and 2018.
Moody's explains its decision to keep rating level with the slim likelihood of tough Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.
"Strong fiscal and external accounts," including a positive foreign-trade balance, also helps Moscow to keep its rating, the message argues.
The agency also believes the situation in Ukraine does not significantly affect Russia's outlook.
However, lowered perspective is based on both the Ukraine crisis and negative GDP growth expectations in the mid-term.
Moody's considers "separatist forces and the outbreak of violence" in the east of Ukraine to be of higher concern than that in the Crimean peninsula, which joined Russia following a local referendum in March.