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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chernomyrdin Refuses to Prop Up Frail Ruble

Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said Tuesday that Russia would not prop up the ruble artificially, Ostankino television reported.


"We do not support propping up the ruble rate -- that is, the rate against the dollar," he told the Commonwealth of Independent States' television channel in an interview.


"It should be realistic so as not to crush our exporters. We are not going to do that," he added.


A strengthened ruble, while giving Russians greater spending power, has made Russian products more expensive and less competitive, both at home and abroad. The strong currency has also made Russia less attractive to foreign investors who now face higher costs here.


Chernomyrdin said in January that the ruble should be allowed to fall as inflation rose.


The lower house of parliament, the State Duma, is discussing the 1994 budget this week. Chernomyrdin said relations between the government and the often hostile conservative-dominated legislature were fine.


The ruble, which traded at 1,247 to the dollar at the end of 1993, had weakened to 1,736 in Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange on Tuesday, partly on doubts that Chernomyrdin was committed to continuing free-market reforms.