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Putin reiterates tough stance against western pressure

Updated: 2014-12-19 08:54

Putin supported Russian Central Bank's recent move to raise the key interest, saying that the act was conducted to stabilize the country's macroeconomy.

The economy can only be healthy amid a stable macroeconomy, Putin stressed while "optimistically" declaring that sooner or later Russia will enter a positive economic trend.

Russia's Finance Ministry Wednesday began selling its leftover currency reserves on the market to stabilize domestic foreign currency market and prop up the ruble, while the Central Bank on early Tuesday morning announced to raise its key interest rate by 6.5 percentages to 17 percent.

Meanwhile, the raise of key interest rate has failed to quell market jitters as demonstrated by the almost 20-percent nose-dive of the ruble Tuesday afternoon, with the euro briefly hitting 100 rubles and the dollar 80 rubles in Moscow trade.

Putin urged the Central Bank to act "a half step quicker," although it is not the only one who should be responsible for the current economic situation.

He added that the actions that the Russian Central Bank and the government have so far taken to stem the ruble crisis are " adequate" and in the right direction.

Putin expressed his hope that Thursday's strengthening tendency of ruble will continue, as the government is planning a series of measures that proved successful back during the 2008 financial crisis.

In addition to raise the key interest rate, the Central Bank is trying to squeeze and lower ruble liquidity and give accesses to foreign exchange liquidity, Putin said.

"Rather than handing out the foreign reserves and burning them out on the market, the bank provides credit resources," according to the president.

Moreover, Putin called for more government work to coordinate with the Central Bank on economic and currency strategies.

"The government needs to work with exporters who have sufficient foreign currency revenues," Putin said, adding that some progresses have been made after Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev met with heads of Russia's major export companies.

While admitting he himself, as Russia's leader, should also take responsibility for the current economic situation in the country, Putin stressed that only a strong Russia could be the most ardent defender of the interests of Russian citizens.

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