A reduction of the world oil prices must not create threats to macroeconomic stability in Russia. Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Horst Koehler who is completing his three-day visit to Moscow on Friday voiced this view at a press conference. He stressed that, taking the considerable dependence of the Russian economy on oil into account, it is necessary to keenly follow the situation. The Managing Director earlier noted that, by the Fund's estimates, the world level of the oil prices must not drop below the mark of 20 dollars per barrel. Koehler also stated that if the oil prices drop so much that it could adversely affect the Russian economy the IMF is ready to give its assistance to Russia.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign