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Treasury may switch to purchasing currency without participation of Central Bank in 2018

March 14, 18:03 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The volume of transactions on purchase/sale of foreign currency will depend on the amount of oil and gas revenues of the federal budget

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MOSCOW, March 14. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Treasury may start buying currency for the current budget expenditures of the Finance Ministry from January 2018, Roman Artyukhin, head of the department, told journalists.

"We do not want to hurry, the risk of wrong steps and measures is too high, therefore, if we create such a mechanism together with the Central Bank by the end of the year, then we will start (direct purchases of currency) next year," Artyukhin said.

He stressed that the mechanism implies that the Treasury will be able to directly enter the Moscow Exchange to buy currency for the current budget spending as well as to buy foreign currency by using additional oil revenues.

According to Artyukhin, currently the Treasury is preparing a roadmap to develop the procedure of direct purchases of currency on the Exchange.

As it was earlier reported, since March the Finance Ministry has begun to accumulate currency which is not connected with additional revenues from oil and gas on the accounts of the Federal Treasury. This is necessary to fulfill the budget's obligations in foreign currency, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov explained.

In February 2017, Russia’s Ministry of Finance started buying and selling foreign currency on the domestic foreign exchange market. The Central bank was appointed as the agent to buy the currency on the market and to transfer it to the Treasury account.

The volume of transactions on purchase/sale of foreign currency will depend on the amount of oil and gas revenues of the federal budget.

While the actual price of Urals oil exceeds the level of $40 per barrel, the Finance Ministry will conduct operations on purchase of foreign currency for the sum of additional oil and gas revenues. In the case of lower Urals oil price, the Ministry will carry out operations on sale of foreign currency in the amount of shortfall in oil and gas revenue.

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