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    RUSSIAN ECONOMIST FORECASTS RUBLE STRENGTHENING ON DOLLAR BY 3% IN JANUARY

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    MOSCOW, January 15, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Yelena Fyodorova) - In January the ruble will grow 3% to the dollar, Mikhail Zadornov, a famous Russian economist and MP, said Thursday at a press conference in RIA Novosti.

    According to the official, the strengthening ruble "is not accidental, but a medium-term trend in the Russian economy".

    In 2003 the real exchange rate of the ruble has grown 17% against the dollar and 5% against the currency basket.

    "The potential of the ruble's strengthening has not been exhausted yet," and its exchange rate may rise another 10-15% against the dollar, Zadornov admitted.

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