(QHA) -

The international ratings agency Fitch Ratings has cut Russia's credit rating to the lowest investment grade after plummeting oil prices and the Ukraine conflict triggered the worst currency crisis since 1998.

Fitch announced on January 9 it had lowered its rating for Russian government debt to BBB-, just one notch above junk level.

It added a negative outlook on the rating, saying, "The economic outlook has deteriorated significantly since mid-2014 following sharp falls in the oil price and the ruble, coupled with a steep rise in interest rates."

Standard & Poor's cut Russia's credit rating to BBB- in April.

The world's biggest energy exporter is on the brink of a recession after crude prices fell more than 50 percent since June and the West imposed sanctions following Russia's annexation of Crimea in March.