Alexey Vedev: “The policy of the Ministry of Finance in respect of foreign currency will not affect the ruble exchange rate”

Dr. Alexey Vedev, Head of the Financial Studies Department at the Gaidar Institute, commented to “MK.RU” on the news that the Ministry of Finance was going to change their tactics in respect of foreign currency.

According to the statement by the RF Ministry of Finance, in the next few months they will resume purchasing foreign currency and gold within the framework of the fiscal rule. As specified by the Agency’s representatives, a return to such purchasing has become feasible owing to an increase in additional oil and gas revenues. According to their forecasts, these revenues will be equal to Rb195.4bn in February. In January, commodity revenues were Rb122.2bn short of the projected level because of changes in the tax legislation. To balance the situation, the RF Ministry of Finance will buy on a daily basis Rb3.7bn worth of foreign currency and gold from February 7 till March 6, 2024.

In Dr. Vedev’s opinion, the operation planned for the next month is of a highly technical nature. The overall sum of Rb73.2bn, which is to be spent on purchasing the foreign currency and gold, is too insignificant to affect considerably the exchange rate of the Russian ruble. This operation is largely substantiated by a higher price for oil in February as compared with January. “I think the RF Ministry of Finance is quite satisfied with the current exchange rate in the range of Rb90 per $1, which is approximately in line with the average annual exchange rate laid down in the law on budget. But individuals and legal entities would prefer the exchange rate band of Rb80-85 per $1,” Alexey Vedev believes.