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Putin unwilling to publicly forecast ruble dymanics

On April 25 Vladimir Putin made a remark that he should comment on this topic "very carefully"

MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to give forecasts on the ruble rate, but not publicly, the President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said when answering a question from reporters.

"He is ready, but not publicly," Peskov said.

On April 25, at a meeting with businessmen in the city of Rybinsk in the Yaroslavl region Vladimir Putin made a remark in the presence of television cameras that he should comment on this topic very carefully.

On Tuesday, Putin held a meeting with representatives of business circles of the Yaroslavl region in Rybinsk.

At that meeting he stressed that the government would not abandon the policy of a floating exchange rate of the national currency. At the same time, as the head of state noted, the authorities understand the business concerns in connection with the strengthening of the ruble and "constantly discuss and look for market-based measures to influence this process."

Peskov declined to specify what market measures to influence the ruble rate Putin had meant, except for the application of the budget rule.

The fiscal or "budget" rule is the mechanism of formation of Russia’s budget. It determines the maximum level of spending on the basis of oil prices. The aim of the rule is to make the budget less dependent on market revenues. The essence of the rule is that additional revenues that are raised from sale of oil and gas should be transferred to the Reserve Fund. Such additional revenues emerge in case when the actual price of oil exceeds the price in the forecast.

After a sharp decline in oil prices the fiscal rule did not work and the government decided to suspend its application. But in November 2016, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he finds it reasonable and necessary to form the new budget rule.

Earlier Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said, the government's economic block expects to adopt a new budget rule in the spring session of the State Duma (lower house of parliament), with the cut-off price remaining at $40 per barrel.