Source Pravda.Ru

Stabilization fund may reach 1.5 trillion rubles by late 2005

Chief of the Russian presidential expert department Arkady Dvorkovich has confirmed that the Stabilization Fund may reach 1.5 trillion rubles by the end of this year.

"If the oil prices remain high, the Stabilization Fund may reach 1.5 trillion rubles by the end of the year ($1 = 27.87 rubles)," Dvorkovich told RIA Novosti.

"Everything will depend on concrete oil prices," he said, answering the question of how much money will be accumulated in the Stabilization Fund till the end of the year.

Earlier, deputy chairman of the Savings Bank Board Bella Zlatkis told RIA Novosti that at the end of the year the Stabilization Fund would amount to about 1.5 trillion rubles.

"Under such high oil price growth rates, the Stabilization Fund will reach 1.5 trillion rubles by the end of the year," said Zlatkis.

For his part, Dvorkovich said: "If such prices as today remain, 1.5 trillion rubles is quite possible. But if they drop, according to the forecast, to less than $40 for barrel, then the figure will be one trillion rubles."

According to Dvorkovich, the Stabilization Fund will also depend on the sum of the foreign debt that will be paid off.

In the federal budget for 2005, the amount of the Stabilization Fund has been fixed at 795.3 billion rubles at the end of the year.

However, already in March, Vice Premier Alexander Zhukov and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said that the Stabilization Fund would top one trillion rubles before the end of the year.

As of March 1, the Stabilization Fund totaled 707.5 billion rubles.

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