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    YEAR TO SEND RUSSIA'S GDP 5% UP WITH MIDDLING WORLD OIL PRICES: VICE-PREMIER

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    BOCA RATON, FLA, USA, FEBRUARY 8, RIA NOVOSTI - This year is expected to increase the Russian gross domestic product by 5.2 per cent even with moderate world petroleum prices-US$22.5 a barrel, as the Russian government sees it, Alexei Kudrin, Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, said yesterday. He is representing Russia at a conference of G8 countries' Finance Ministers and Central Bank presidents in Boca Raton, Florida.

    Russia will certainly retain steady economic progress rates exceeding average even with low-price oil. The Russian economy is improving its quality as capital investment, labour efficiency and processing industries' contribution are increasing-and that matters more than anything else, he emphasised.

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