Gov't official on fluctuations of ruble exchange rate

Over the next two years, Russia will hardly switch to a floating ruble exchange rate, Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin announced at a round-table meeting of Russian and European industrialists today. He mentioned that the state policy on currency regulation could apply either a free-floating exchange rate or a controlled floating exchange rate. At present, it is a controlled floating exchange rate that is applied in Russia.

Kudrin stressed that the role of the Central Bank in regulating the ruble exchange rate was gradually decreasing. In 2003 the ruble rate will be higher than expected, indicating that when managing the exchange rate authorities react on objective factors, the minister noted. According to Kudrin, in the medium-term perspective the real ruble exchange rate is to strengthen by 3 to 5 percent.

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