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    RUSSIA'S FINANCE MINISTER COMMENTS G8 $/EURO RATE RESOLUTION

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    BOCA RATON, (USA), February 8, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - G8 countries' Finance Ministers and Central Bank presidents summed up their conference in Boca Raton, Florida, with a joint statement. The Parties met each other halfway for US dollar/euro rates. The communique reflects the achieved compromise, which promises to prevent the dollar plummeting vs. the euro and other European moneys, point out experts.

    "Developments round the dollar/euro rate are harder to forecast than we should like. I think they will remain unstable," says Alexei Kudrin, Russia's Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, who was representing his country at the Boca Raton conference. A bad deficit of the US federal budget and balance of payments remains alarming and hazardous. "Leading international financial institutions have made that conclusion, and we Russian experts are of the same opinion." Dollar/euro ups and downs do not sizeably affect the Russian economy. The rouble's problems will not allow it to get too high vs. the moneys of countries active in trade with Russia, he remarked to Novosti.

    As far as Mr. Kudrin knows, the rouble rose 4 per cent, or negligibly higher, vs. basic moneys, and got somewhat down as against the euro-which means that Russia has become more competitive in exports to Europe, its closest commercial partner. Now, the rouble rise vs. the dollar promises Russian-based industrial companies lucrative purchases of pioneer US technologies and equipment. In that aspect, the North American market is certainly none inferior to the European, while Russian industries need thorough technical updating, the Vice-Premier optimistically said.

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