By the end of 2006 the ratio of bank assets to gross domestic product (GDP) will reach 45%, said First Deputy Central Bank Chairman Andrei Kozlov at a session of the Federation Council's interregional bank council yesterday. Kozlov said that 'at the present time the ratio stands at 40%. In European countries and the US the ratio is approximately 80-120%.' The Russian ratio of bank assets to GDP corresponds more closely to that of Ukraine, Mexico and Kazakhstan. However, Kozlov said that if the economic situation in Russia remains favourable and the bank system consequently solves its problems connected with strategic development, then the strong domestic economy should become 'the motor of economic development along with foreign trade.'