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    MOSCOW, January 15th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - The drop in the world oil prices will fail to affect the rouble-dollar exchange rate, State Duma deputy and prominent Russian economics expert Mikhail Zadornov believes.

    The ongoing consolidation of the Russian national currency should not be only linked to oil prices. This is due to the fact that in 2003 Russia received about five billion rouble-worth currency reserves, the deputy said at a RIA Novosti press conference today.

    In his words, the bulk of this money is Russian capital returned from abroad. "Russia is receiving investment not because oil prices are high, but because the rouble is going to get stronger," Zadornov asserted.

    He urged Russian financial top brass to change the rate fixing mechanism and peg the rouble to the currency basket rather than the falling rate of the dollar. At the same time, the former cabinet member believes that the Central Bank and the government are taking correct measures now that the inflation needs to be curbed and the rouble prevented from sharp consolidation.

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