The falling price of oil has reduced Russian revenues
Russia is headed for a recession, the country's deputy economy minister, Andrei Klepach, has said.
Asked whether Russia would have a recession, he said:"It's started already. I'm afraid it will not be over in the next two quarters."
"A major drop began in October and there will also be drops in November-December," he said, according to official reports.
Recessions are normally declared after two quarters of negative growth.
He also said that full-year economic growth for 2008 would be lower than the 6.8% previously forecast.
Russia - reliant on metals and oil - has been hit by tumbling oil prices and falling demand for commodities
Its economy grew by 8.1% in 2007, helped by soaring oil and metals prices.
The price of oil hit a high of $147 a barrel earlier this year, but it is now languishing below $50.
Russia's stock markets have plunged in recent months and the central bank has spent billions of dollars trying to support the rouble.