Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin said on Wednesday Russia could count on the International Monetary Fund and the Paris Club to help with its 2002 budget if the oil price slid below the minimum set in the budget. "Even if the oil price falls to $18.50 a barrel, the lowest level set in the budget, we have a plan of action worked out," Kudrin was quoted as saying. Kudrin told a news conference a deal could quickly be reached with the IMF if needed. He also said the Paris Club, to which Russia owes some $40 billion, would act with "understanding" if oil prices were very low. Analysts said they assumed he was referring to the possibility that debt repayments could be rescheduled or loans arranged, the Russia Journal wrote.