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Russian presidential aide says Central Bank should take steps to support ruble

January 20, 2016, 12:35 UTC+3

According to a survey of 15 experts, the Russian Central Bank could enter the currency market with the Russian currency falling to 90 rubles against the dollar

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© Dmitriy Rogulin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. The current situation as it is, Russia’s Central Bank should take steps to support the exchange rate of the national currency, the ruble, Russian presidential adviser Sergey Glaziev has said.

"The foreign exchange reserves’ task is to keep the national currency stable. This is what they are built up for. A situation where the Central Bank interprets at its sole discretion the instruction not to "waste" the reserves and just quits the market of its own accord cannot but cause surprise or make the whole world laugh," he said.

Glaziev recalled that there is no country on the globe where the exchange rate of the national currency "would be plummeting by 10%-15% every month."

As an example Glaziev recalled Saudi Arabia, Iran, Norway and Egypt.

"These countries are dependent on the export of crude oil to a still greater extent than we. Their economies are far less diversified than ours. Yet their exchange rates are not on a roller-coaster," Glaziev said.

"There we can see devaluation rates measuring 10%, 12% or 15% at the most. Ours is as high as 50%, and it is followed by 20%-30% ups and downs," he said.

Glaziev described the transition to the ruble’s floating exchange rate as cheating.

"That was done to make profiteers still richer. I can see no other reason for the exchange rate’s surges and falls. Our foreign exchange reserves are twice the amount of rubles in the economy. The national currency’s exchange rate could’ve been stabilized or even kept frozen very easily throughout last year," he said.

The ruble, Glaziev said, is the best-supported currency of all, while its exchange rate is the most understated one.

"We could’ve stabilized it very easily. This will require getting back to compliance with our fundamental duty, which is described in the Constitution and the law on the Central Bank. It is the CBR that is responsible for the national currency’s stability first and foremost," he said.

The Central Bank’s withdrawal from the currency market is nonsense, he argued.

"You won’t find anything of the sort in any other country around the world," Glaziev said.

Experts say Central Bank could resume currency interventions at 90 rubles per dollar 

According to experts polled by Bloomberg, the Russian Central Bank could resume currency interventions if the ruble exchange rate continues to fall against the dollar.

According to a survey of 15 experts, the Russian Central Bank could enter the currency market with the Russian currency falling to 90 rubles against the dollar.

At the same time, two experts believe that interventions could begin even at the rate of 80 rubles per dollar.

According to polled experts, in response to a sharp weakening of the Russian ruble the Central Bank could urgently increase the key rate.

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