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  Friday, December 13, 2019
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Additional steps will be required to contain the rise of the rouble exchange rate in case the oil prices exceed 50 dollars per barrel next year
Additional steps will be required to contain the rise of the rouble exchange rate in case the oil prices exceed 50 dollars per barrel next year, Russian Vice-Premier Alexander Zhukov told the plenary session of the State Duma on Wednesday. Now, a range of factors such as the high prices on oil are pressuring the national currency to increase, he said. "The Central Bank is trying to ease the pressure in a bid to prevent an excessive increase in the exchange rate but, still, we feel it has strengthened", Zhukov noted. The vice-premier is sure that the rouble will not strengthen by more than seven percent this year and in 2005, if oil prices stay within 30 dollars per barrel, it will not be more than three to four percent. "Meanwhile, of the prices exceed 50 dollars per barrel, we will have to provide for additional steps to stabilise the currency market", the vice-premier said. In turn, Finance Minister Alexei Zhukov told the State Duma that Russia should be ready for a fall in the world prices of oil. He said that the bulk of the 2004 budget surplus is due to the high oil prices. "If they were 20 dollars per barrel or less, we wouldn't have the surplus", Kudrin said. He said that nobody can forecast the world oil price dynamics with certainty. "A rapid fall in oil prices could have never been forecasted and we should be ready for such a low-price trial", Kudrin stressed. "Russia has never passed the trial, neither in 1998 nor before", the finance minister said. He noted that this used to end up with economic upheavals and "political changes" in the country. In this connection, he stressed the need of lowering the dependence of the Russian economy on external factors and having in view the domestic factors of economic growth.
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