“The strengthening of the ruble [in recent months] is mainly explained by the growth of oil prices. In that sense it is a fundamentally justified appreciation,” Yudaeva said.

 

She added that a target inflation below 4 percent in Russia could be considered no earlier than in 7 to 10 years.

 

“The inflation target in the medium-term perspective must stay on the 4 percent level. We do not intend to change it in the near future. The economy is developing, it must become more diversified, dependence on raw materials must be reduced. And reaching the inflation target will contribute to that. In the next 7-10 years we could discuss the possibility of lowering the target. But right now the economy is not ready for a lower target,” Yudaeva told Izvestia.

 

The Central Bank will consider the issue of replenishing international reserves up to $500 billion after inflation in Russia drops to 4 percent, Yudaeva added.

 

Earlier this month, Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin forecast that inflation in Russia could reach the target 4-percent mark in 2017.