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Sep 24, 2013

Monetary policy can’t fix Russia’s structural problems: central banker

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank has limited scope to reverse an economic slowdown that reflects underlying structural problems rather than tight credit, the bank’s new head of monetary policy said.

Ksenia Yudayeva, appointed to head monetary policy under new Chairwoman Elvira Nabiullina, defended the bank against political pressure to cut interest rates to boost growth.

Sep 23, 2013

Russia can afford to keep Putin’s social promises

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia is committed to improving education, health and social welfare and will have no problem financing their long-term development, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit.

Concerns about Russia’s poor demographics, an eroding skills base and the high cost of social security obligations are mounting, amid signs that these chronic problems are taking a toll on overall economic performance.

Sep 18, 2013

Economic slowdown and Putin’s promises take toll on Russian budget

MOSCOW, Sept 18 (Reuters) – The Russian budget’s dependence
on fickle oil and gas prices is set to remain high, as the
country will be forced to borrow more in response to an
unexpectedly severe economic slowdown.

Under a three-year budget plan seen by Reuters on Wednesday,
the Finance Ministry will raise borrowing to compensate for
lower-than-expected tax revenues and to fund the rising cost of
spending promises made by President Vladimir Putin.

Sep 13, 2013

Russia launches interest-rate overhaul, holds key rates

MOSCOW, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank on Friday
announced a major overhaul of its monetary policy framework to
simplify its interest-rate toolkit, while resisting pressure to
cut policy rates to boost the sluggish economy.

In a move to strengthen the influence of policy rates over
market rates, the central bank said that it was making its
one-week auction repo rate, presently 5.5 percent, its main
policy rate from Sept. 16.

Sep 12, 2013

Russian price freeze decision boosts rate cut chances

MOSCOW, Sept 12 (Reuters) – A decision by Russian President
Vladimir Putin to freeze utility prices in 2014 adds to chances
that the central bank will cut key policy rates when it meets to
discuss them on Friday.

By a narrow margin, analysts polled by Reuters earlier in
the week had expected the central bank to hold rates this month,
despite pressure from the Kremlin to boost the flagging economy.

Sep 6, 2013

Russia considering freeze in regulated prices in 2014

MOSCOW, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Russia is considering whether to
forgo annual increases in prices for state-regulated utilities
such as gas, electricity and railways in 2014, according to a
directive issued by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday.

The directive, published on the government’s website on
Friday, instructed the Ministries of Economic Development,
Finance, Transport and Energy, and also the Federal Tarriff
Service, to evaluate the impact of the proposal on the economy
and companies.

Aug 9, 2013

Russian central bank warns of risks to growth but keeps rates on hold

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank warned of risks to growth on Friday and said output was below potential but, with inflation above target and the rouble weak, it resisted political pressure to cut interest rates.

Data this month showing that manufacturing and services sector activity shrank in July added to signs that Russia’s economy is losing steam.

Jul 12, 2013

Russia central bank signals monetary easing ahead, acts to spur lending

MOSCOW, July 12 (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank signalled
policy easing ahead on Friday and introduced a new mechanism for
long-term bank funding to try and boost lending, while keeping
interest rates on hold for now.

Despite pressure from the Kremlin to cut rates to boost
Russia’s economy, which is growing at its slowest pace in four
years, the bank left its main policy rate, the one-day minimum
auction repo rate, at 5.5 percent for the 10th month in a row.

May 25, 2013

Russian pro-, anti-gay activists arrested after defying ban

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian police detained around 30 pro- and anti-gay activists in central Moscow on Saturday, imposing the city’s ban on gay rights demonstrations.

The arrests, underlining Russia’s tough response to public demonstrations by gay groups, coincided with the first ever gay rally in neighboring Ukraine, which was allowed by the authorities and protected by the police.

May 14, 2013

Russian c.bank seen on hold, trapped between inflation, slowing economy

MOSCOW, May 14 (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank is likely
to keep interest rates on hold on Wednesday, before its new head
takes office, caught between stubbornly high inflation and a
slowing economy.

The Bank of Russia has come under political pressure to cut
lending rates to boost economic growth, which has slowed sharply
in recent months and came to just 1.1 percent in the first
quarter.