Moscow Forecasts Slight Strengthening of Ruble in Near Future

The Bank of Russia plans to keep the real ruble rate within the 6% range this year, Finance Minister and Vice-Premier Alexei Kudrin told journalists on Tuesday. He pointed out that the tendency had a negative impact on economy reducing export and facilitating import.

The Bank's policy is based on objective factors; the ruble rate growth "is not a Bank's mere wish," the Vice-premier said. He added that the policy is formed on the balance of payments. Higher oil prices, significant foreign currency and private capital inflow and reduced capital flight have contributed to stabilising the balance of payments. Kudrin believes that the rouble will go up next years. He said that the Government and the Bank of Russia should control the situation.

There is a possibility for a greater rouble rate growth if oil prices remain high, but "as the oil prices are expected to go down, the rouble rate can hardly soar.

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