Russia's economy still dependent on oil prices

Russia's credit and monetary policy for 2004 proceeds from the forecast prices for the Russian oil on the world market, i.e. $22 per barrel, said Chairman of the Russian Central Bank Sergei Ignatyev upon the end of a government session.

The balance of payments and the monetary programme for 2003 were calculated proceeding from low forecasts of prices for the Urals oil. The first variant - $18.5 per barrel and the second - $22 per barrel, with the latter being more likely, said Ignatyev.

In his words, at present the oil price is $28-29 per barrel. "Naturally, the prices can stabilise or grow lower. But the forecast of $22 per barrel is more cautious and realistic," the Central Bank head stressed.

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