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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kudrin Vows Inflation, GDP Will Meet Targets

Russia will meet targets for economic growth and inflation in 2001 despite some concern over price rises in the first two months of the year, Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin said Monday.

The government has forecast 2001 growth in gross domestic product of 4 percent, down from 7.7 percent last year, with consumer price inflation falling to 12 percent from 20.2 percent.

"We expect to have a growth level of no less than 4 percent this year and reach the planned levels for inflation and other important indicators," Kudrin said at a reception for British and Russian businessmen.

He said higher than planned rises in consumer prices in January and February would not derail the government targets. February inflation was 2.3 percent month-on-month, down from 2.8 percent in January.

Kudrin also said that money supply targets agreed with international financial organizations were being strictly observed so far this year and would remain within target.

He said the recently amended budget allowed for foreign debts to be paid in full and on time, even taking into account projected world oil prices of no more than $21 per barrel.

Urals blend crude oil is currently trading at about this level, well below last year's highs that helped Russia to service its foreign debt and even to reduce it by about $14 billion.

But Kudrin said Russia still hoped for a debt restructuring agreement with the Paris Club of creditor nations.

"We have to get off this [foreign debt] needle. We can either get a comprehensive restructure or we pay," he said.