Ruble to be Controlled, Russia's Finance Minister

Russia's Minister of Finance Alexey Kudrin said at a round-table discussion of Russian and EU industrialists that in the nearest two years Russia would not switch to the free floating ruble rate, the ruble rate would remain controlled.

According to the RF vice-premier, the controlled floating rate and the free floating ruble are used in the currency regulation. For the time being, Russia maintains the floating rate although the Central Bank's intervention into the currency market management is gradually reducing, MDF.ru reports.

Alexey Kudrin says the 2003 ruble rate fixed higher than expected level. This means that the government reacts to objective factors and maintains the controlled floating rate, Russia's RIA Novosti reports.

The RF Minister of Finance is sure that in the nearest time strengthening of the actual effective ruble rate will make up 3-5 per cent per year, AK&M reports. As has been reported earlier, on November 26 First Deputy Chairman of Russia's Central Bank Oleg Vyugin spoke about "smooth switching to the floating currency exchange system." "Within several years, we need to smoothly switch to the floating exchange rate system and estimate the national currency more effectively. Strengthening of the national currency stimulates more investments in the country," Oleg Vyugin thinks.

Russia's NTV television reports that the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank says the measure will help give a more objective estimate to Russia's assets that are basically rubles.