MOSCOW, April 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev said Friday that a recent downgrade in Russia’s financial rating was expected and partially due to politically motivated decisions, but is not affecting investors’ behavior.

International ratings agency Standard & Poor’s cut Russia’s rating to BBB- from BBB Friday and kept its outlook negative, amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

“This is an expected decision,” Ulyukayev said.

“It’s clear that this is partially due to a politically motivated decision, and perhaps in part a reaction to the actual worsening of the macroeconomic situation that we’re in,” he added.

“How will this affect investors? I don’t think this has had an effect in principle. I believe this has been already set in investment expectations,” the minister said.

Asked whether Russia plans to take steps to increase the rating, Ulyukayev said there is “a range of work both on road maps and macroeconomic stability, this is the current normal work of the Ministry of Economic Development.”

The ratings agency said Russia’s sovereign rating was cut amid large capital outflows from Russia in the first quarter of the year, and could face further downgrades “if tighter sanctions were to result in additional weakening of Russia’s net external position.”

“The tense geopolitical situation between Russia and Ukraine could see additional significant outflows of both foreign and domestic capital from the Russian economy and hence further undermine already weakening growth prospects,” S&P said in the statement.

According to the Bank of Russia, Russia saw a net capital outflow of $50.6 billion by companies and banks in the first quarter of the year, up from $27.5 billion in the same period last year.