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Russia’s GDP may fall by more than 4% in 2015 - Klepach

MOSCOW, January 13 /TASS/. Russia’s GDP may fall by more than 4% in 2015 but the economic decline will be less radical than in 2009, according to Andrei KLepach, the vice-chairman of Vnesheconombank /WEB/.

“There can be a fall of more than 4% but it’s going to be smaller than in 2009 /when it accounted for about 8% of the GDP/,” Klepach told journalists on Tuesday.

Klepach said the dynamics of economy this year would depend on many factors, including oil prices and a package of stabilization measures to be adopted by the government and the Central Bank.

Klepach told journalists that he did not see conditions for substantial reduction of the Central Bank’s key interest rate.

“There are no conditions for substantial reduction of the Central Bank’s key interest rate so far,” Klepach told journalists as he commented on previous media reports that Russian banks had allegedly asked the Central Bank to reduce its key interest rate in January.

Klepach noted that under the current circumstances it was important to preserve a channel for providing banks with money at a low rate to support the investment process which is also coming to a halt alongside short-term liquidity which can be provided at a high interest rate.

He said it was necessary to establish various interest rates. The Central Bank has preserved a low interest rate for small businesses. However, Klepach said, the funds provided at that rate are miserly.

According to Klepach, the Central Bank will not agree to a reduction which the bankers are asking for because that will not radically change the situation in his view.

Speaking about the world oil prices, Klepach said he expected them to soar up soon though not as considerably as it was in 2009.

“I believe that the world oil prices will rebound. They may stand at around $40 per barrel at the moment. It was $39 per barrel in January 2009. There will be a rebound but I do not think that it’s going to be as strong as in 2009,” Klepach said.

According to him, the world oil prices will be pretty low for some time before soaring up.

“I believe that the OPEC should sooner or later impose certain restrictions on demand. Many technologies such as shale oil extraction require a higher price level anyway. The range of disbursements there varies from $30 to $70 per barrel. So, I think that prices will go up,” Klepach said in conclusion.