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Russia's financial system to retain stability until 2020 - minister

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In the wake of adopted budget decisions, Russia's financial system will remain stable at least until 2020, or until 2030 given favorable conditions, Russia's finance minister said Tuesday.
MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) - In the wake of adopted budget decisions, Russia's financial system will remain stable at least until 2020, or until 2030 given favorable conditions, Russia's finance minister said Tuesday.

Alexei Kudrin said the oil and gas transfer, which accounts for 3.7% of GDP, would be covered by current oil and gas profits until 2014, with an average oil price of $45.7 per barrel at the 2005 exchange rate.

He said that it would be necessary to spend money from the Reserve Fund and the Future Generations Fund after 2014 to maintain the oil and gas transfer at the above level, which could exhaust the Future Generations Fund and the Reserve Fund by 2019 and 2030, respectively, if the oil price remains the same.

However, if the oil price falls to $26.9 per barrel at the 2005 exchange rate, the Future Generations Fund and the Reserve Fund will be exhausted by 2014 and 2020, respectively, the finance minister said.

"No foreign loans will be taken in the next three years," Kudrin said, adding that he did not see the need for borrowings after 2010, either, since Russia could currently meet all its loan needs. The official said: "As long as Russia has a strong balance of payment, we will borrow little or nothing at all from the World Bank."

Kudrin also said that the Central Bank's forecast for ruble strengthening in 2008 ranged from 0% to 10%, but failed to specify oil prices. He said that the current forecast for ruble strengthening was 5.1% in 2007 and 2.7% in 2008.

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