The Central Bank of Russia is going to focus its energies next year on reducing the inflation rate to 9-12 percent. And in the next three years, the Bank's ambition will be to bring the rate below 8 percent, the bank's press service announced.
In its policies, the Bank of Russia will stick to its floating exchange rate regime. In 2002, the rouble has risen by 2.6 percent against the dollar, but has dropped 4 percent against the euro. As for the consumer prices, they have this year been rising at a slower pace than the previous year. They rose 9 percent in the first six months of 2002, as compared with 12.7 percent in the same period of last year.
As far as the country's economic outlook is concerned, the Bank of Russia has unveiled two possible scenarios for next year, depending on how the world economy develops. World economic growth in 2003 is predicted at 2 percent or, in the best-case scenario, at 3-3.5 percent. In the former case, Russia's gross domestic product will grow by 4.4 percent while in the latter, 3.5 percent. In either cases, Russia will be able to maintain a sustainable balance of payments, the Central Bank assured.
Russia's Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said that Moscow would treat any military intervention in the affairs of Belarus as an attack on Russia
The month of October was rich with rare astronomical phenomena.