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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Reserves Rise Despite Debt Payments

A special fund that soaks up government revenues above those budgeted to pay foreign debt rose slightly in the first quarter of 2003 despite heavy debt payments, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said.

Kudrin told reporters the financial reserve stood at 230 billion rubles ($7.4 billion) as of April 1 compared with 228 billion rubles at the start of the year.

He said the Finance Ministry had expected the fund to shrink in the first quarter because of the debt payments.

"But due to high oil prices we have managed to almost compensate the fall, and as of April 1 we have an almost unchanged financial reserve," he added.

He said the reserve would decline to 180 billion rubles ($5.79 billion) by the end of the year.

The 2003 budget says the reserve should amount to 20 billion rubles by the end of the year.