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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Central Bank Pushing for Ruble Rate of 21.5

As the official ruble to dollar exchange rate rose a further 7 kopeks to 24.09, a top Central Bank official said Wednesday that her institution would continue its attempts to bring the nation's currency in line with budget forecasts of 21.5.

The ruble's performance continued a strong steady rise that has seen it move up some 5 percent in value since it hit rock bottom at 25.11 on April 5.

The Central Bank will continue its efforts to prop up the ruble, Central Bank deputy chairman Tatyana Paramonova said Wednesday in remarks reported by Itar-Tass.

It will also move to revamp the banking sector and clamp down on capital flight, she added.

"But it is even more important to prevent the Central Bank's international reserves from falling," Paramonova said.

While this may seem hard to reconcile with a strong ruble, the bank's optimism seems to be fueled by its success in April in getting the ruble to rise against the dollar without depleting its reserves to do so.

Paramonova's words Wednesday echoed Central Bank chairman Viktor Gerashchenko's statements last week that the state would keep the ruble within the parameters laid down by the 1999 budget. The budget was drafted on the assumption that the ruble would average 21.5 rubles to the dollar, but the battered currency has been well above that rate for mostof the year.