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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Aide: Free Ruble Conversion Coming

Russia will make the ruble freely convertible for current account transactions in mid-1996, Itar-Tass quoted Deputy Economics Minister Vladimir Kossov as saying Monday.

Kossov said this would be a bold step forward, Itar-Tass said.

If this step were taken, the only barrier to the ruble being fully convertible would be in its use in investment operations, Itar-Tass said.

The agency earlier this month quoted central bank chief Sergei Dubinin as saying Russia would sign Article Eight of the International Monetary Fund charter in the next few months which would make the currency convertible for current account transactions.

By accepting the article, IMF members agree not to impose restrictions on payments and transfers for such transactions -- essentially foreign trade -- and not to operate multiple currency regimes.

The move would make it easier for importers to obtain hard currency and for exporters to retain their earnings.