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PRESS RELEASE

IV Joint High-Level Eurosystem – Bank of Russia Seminar

11 October 2007

The Eurosystem – comprising the European Central Bank and the 13 national central banks of the euro area – and the Bank of Russia held their fourth joint high-level seminar on 10 and 11 October 2007 in Moscow. The Seminar, hosted by the Bank of Russia, was attended by governors and high-level representatives of the Bank of Russia and the Eurosystem. Seminar participants also included representatives of the Administration of the President, the Office of the Government, the Federal Assembly, ministries of the Russian Federation, the European Commission and the Bank for International Settlements. The purpose of the seminar was to further strengthen dialogue and enhance relations between the Bank of Russia and the Eurosystem, which have intensified in recent years. The main issues addressed at the seminar pertained to the current state of the Russian economy and the challenges for monetary policy as well as to the enlargement of the European Union and its implications for the Russian Federation.

In his opening remarks, Bank of Russia Chairman Sergey M. Ignatiev emphasized that it has become a tradition to hold Joint Eurosystem – Bank of Russia seminars. Previous gatherings in this framework were organised in Helsinki (2004), in St. Petersburg (2005) and in Dresden (2006). Sergey M. Ignatiev highlighted that the subject of the seminar is directly linked to the searching for appropriate response to the current challenges of global economy. Due to the enlargement of the European Union and the accelerating globalization of the world financial markets, the practice of sharing experience among central banks is viewed as one of the factors greatly facilitating the sustainable development of trade and economic relations between the Russian Federation and the Eurosystem.

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet stressed that the economic growth in both the euro area and Russia has positive implications on trade, which has been further boosted by the enlargements of the European Union. Surging foreign direct investments is another factor that reflects the growing level of integration between both regions. The favourable economic developments in both the euro area and Russia, underlined already at the seminar in Dresden one year ago, have since then been broadly confirmed. President Trichet concluded that the high level of cooperation between the EU and the Russian Federation is mirrored by an intensive dialogue between the Eurosystem and the Bank of Russia.

In his key-note speech, Sergey M. Ignatiev was addressing the topical issues of the Bank of Russia monetary policy. The economy currently enjoys a sustainable growth. The Bank of Russia ruble exchange rate policy, as before, is aimed at curbing inflation and at the same time preventing the ruble’s excessive appreciation and averting sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate of the national currency. The Bank of Russia continues to maintain the managed floating exchange rate regime. The implementation of the current policy has resulted in the slowdown of the real appreciation of the ruble, which was in its turn conducive to maintaining the price competitiveness of national producers.

The seminar demonstrated the benefits of high-level discussions between the Eurosystem and the Bank of Russia. Participants have agreed to continue cooperation, including organisation of similar gatherings on a regular basis.

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