The Russian business has adapted to the rate of around 60 rubles per dollar, the strong appreciation of the national currency is undesirable, said Finance Minister Anton Siluanov in interview to TV channel “Russia 24”.
“If we spend all oil and gas revenues on the additional costs this will lead to the strengthening of the ruble. Is it good or not? For our industry, which is already used to the rate of 60 rubles per dollar, a further strengthening will lead to loss of competitiveness. Right now we need it or not?” — he said (quoted by “Interfax”).
In his opinion, additional exchange rate fluctuations, even the strengthening of the ruble, Russia “now useless”. Pursuing a responsible budget policy, additional oil and gas revenues “would be better in a larger volume to preserve and keep in reserves,” the Minister added.
The Finance Ministry does not see market factors for a serious volatility of the ruble in 2017, said Siluanov. “Everything will depend on the dynamics of changes in interest rates by the fed, but major fluctuations of our currency not to be expected because we are in the current forecasts do not expect any sharp changes in rates by the fed. Indeed, there are predictions that a few times decisions will be made about the rate increase, but I don’t see any serious consequences for the ruble exchange rate. The balance of payments we have a strong, in subsequent years reduce the budget imbalance, so any serious consequences for the exchange rate is not” — said the Minister.
The Minister also admitted an increase in prices of gasoline and diesel fuel not only because of the growth in excise taxes, but also due to the increase in oil prices. “Next year, we are increasing excise taxes. We can also see that now there is a trend on the rise in oil prices. Wholesale gasoline prices are considered on the basis of world prices with the cost of shipping oil and petroleum products to foreign markets and, accordingly, the excise policy. Therefore, we believe that there may be some price increases,” — said the Minister.