OREANDA-NEWS. Corporate And Government Ratings: Methodology And Assumptions," published Nov. 19, 2013). This reflects our view of Russia's institutional framework, in which LRGs have very restricted revenue autonomy and are unable to withstand possible negative intervention by the federal government. However, given the current stable outlook on Russia, we see this scenario as unlikely.

We could also lower the rating, even if the sovereign rating remains unchanged, if the oblast's budgetary performance and liquidity weakened as a result of a significant reduction in tax revenues or a loose spending policy at the oblast level.

We could raise the rating on Leningrad Oblast in the next 12 months following a similar action on Russia and if we were to simultaneously revise our assessment of the oblast's financial management to satisfactory from weak following an improvement in the oblast's revenue and expenditure management.