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    MOSCOW, January 16 (RIA Novosti) - The trust of Russian citizens in the ruble has almost been restored, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov reported at the State Duma plenary session.

    Mr. Kasyanov noted that this year the population's savings have grown to 5.8% of the GDP compared to 3.2% in 2000.

    New savings are in rubles, the prime minister said. As a result, the volume of investment resources in financial and banking sectors is growing. With the Central Bank's new lowered 14% refinancing rate there is a good incentive to further lower credit rates in the financial sector, Mr. Kasyanov said.

    The prime minister noted that the ruble has strengthened by 20% in 2003, this, along with some negative aspects, has brought up such positive results decreasing Russia's dependence on the dollar.

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