Moscow. 11 February. The Chairman of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina believes “complete nonsense” suggestions of a possible artificial weakening of the ruble. She stated this to journalists on the sidelines of a meeting with bankers in boarding house “Bor”.
“Complete nonsense, sorry. We do not consider the change in exchange rate policy. We switched to a floating exchange rate, and all the principles of our exchange rate policy is known. And attempts to artificially influence the course, including for the replenishment of the budget, this is an artificial effect that has a very negative impact, in our view. And the Finance Ministry is not considering such an option, we are always on contact. They are now really working hard to balance the budget”, – said Nabiullina.
Earlier Wednesday, several media outlets reported the alleged measures on the weakening of the ruble or to prevent its excessive strengthening.
This information was later denied by the Finance Ministry as saying that the targeted weakening of the ruble is not considered, moreover, the implemented fiscal consolidation should help strengthen it.
“The Finance Ministry does not discuss and does not allow for the targeted weakening of the ruble. On the contrary, currently we are working on measures to consolidate their budgets and reduce the Federal budget deficit. Such measures, from the point of view of the Finance Ministry, will have on the course of strengthening effect”, – said the press service of the Ministry of Finance.
Previously Nabiullina also said the Central Bank sees high volatility in the currency market and is concerned, but opposes the spending of foreign exchange reserves to maintain the ruble.
“Let’s imagine, what are the conditions for volatility to decrease. The first – to spend gold reserves, but not all. This method of reducing exchange rate volatility is not supported”, – she declared, explaining that the reserves can be spent very quickly.
“If external conditions will change seriously, we will come to the same situation, which was in the beginning, only with less gold reserves and with a large movement of course, which then deviates from a reasonable market rate,” she added.
The second possible scenario to reduce volatility in the foreign exchange market, she said, is to stabilize oil prices. “Our economy is still heavily dependent on oil. If the price of oil will stabilize and the ruble will stabilize. While oil prices are very volatile, the volatility is higher than at the rate”, – said the head of the Central Bank.
The third scenario, which she called the most correct and which need work – the diversification of the economy. “Less oil dependent, from oil exports, our exchange rate will be more stable. This is a more long-term and arduous task, not so much associated with monetary and fiscal policy and structural policy,” she said, stressing that such a scenario will allow to achieve stability of course, but not artificial restraint, but in reality based on the economy.