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.
The US is going to ban exports of Iranian oil to the world market from November 5 of this year. In turn, Iran threatens to block the passage of oil tankers of the Gulf countries through the Strait of Hormuz
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969