The Russian rouble may become fully convertible by 2007. Aleksei Ulyukayev, Russia's First Deputy Finance Minister, made this forecast at a news conference Monday when commenting on the presidential State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly.
As of today, the rouble is a partially convertible currency, i.e. it is converted on the domestic market only, said Mr Ulyukayev.
He recalled that the State Duma, parliament's lower house, was considering a redraft law on foreign currency regulation and control. According to the bill, the rouble will be fully convertible by 2007, said the deputy minister. "Four or five years are quite enough to attain this objective," he believes.
The Finance Ministry, said Mr Ulyukayev, believes the rouble-dollar exchange rate must not exceed an annual of 10%. "The question is how promptly the Russian economy will get adapted to a stronger rouble rate," he said. A faster than a 10-percent growth rate will be hazardous to the Russian economy, he added.