MOSCOW - In the medium term, the ruble will be strengthening against the US dollar by 3-4 percent a year, Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin said at an economic forum Monday. He noted that the confidence of companies and individuals in the Russian ruble had increased in 2003.
According to Mr. Kudrin, an increase in the demand for rubles and an increasingly monetarized economy have led to a rise in the capitalization of the banking sector. Under the circumstances, he said, the government "determined its policy, and its priority is to create competitive conditions on the market". Mr. Kudrin stressed that the Russian government would make efforts to eliminate loopholes for capital and create equal conditions for all businesses.
Meanwhile, the US dollar, which was expected to strengthen not only on the Russian market but also on foreign markets, has not recouped its losses. Earlier, people believed in the stability of the dollar despite George Bush's statements that America benefits from a cheap dollar, but the threat to the US currency from the White House became apparent now.
European experts came to the conclusion that the US administration has abandoned the concept of a strong dollar. The business community raised suspicions immediately after it became clear that the role of the US Treasury in the current administration boils down to the function of a state accountant. And the policy is determined by completely different people - from the President's circle.