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    Fitch expects Russian financial-economic figures to improve in near future

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    LONDON, August 4 (RIA Novosti, Alexander Smotrov) - International ratings agency Fitch expects Russian financial-economic figures to improve in the near future, Fitch Sovereign Ratings Director Sharon Raj said Thursday.

    Fitch views the Russian government's financial policy and early redemption of the Paris Club debt as positive.

    The ratings agency raised Russia's long-term foreign currency sovereign rating Wednesday from BBB- to BBB. Russia's short-term foreign currency rating was confirmed at F3. Both ratings have a stable outlook.

    The high price of oil, increased tax revenue and relatively limited expenditure have enabled Russia to sustain strong budget figures, letting it redeem most of its external debt to the Paris Club of creditor nations, she said.

    Raj said the Russian economy's rally is due to several factors, including the realistic ruble rate, strong GDP growth and early redemption of external debt.

    Among the problems in Russia that concern Fitch are the fall in the economic growth rate from 7% to 4-5% per year and delays in structural reforms.

    The agency sees banking sector and social payment reforms as generally successful.

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