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IMF to start assessing Russian financial sector next week

The International Monetary Fund will start assessing the Russian financial sector next week, IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato said Tuesday.

The IMF’s resident representative in Russia, Neven Mates, announced in spring that the assessment would take place, and said a report would be published in 2008. Russia is one of the 184 IMF member states. The fund annually prepares reviews on countries’ economies, with fund experts giving their assessment of the fiscal, macroeconomic and financial policy situation, and offering development recommendations. De Rato, speaking after a meeting with Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev, said he was "encouraged" by yesterday’s Russian government reshuffle, which gave Kudrin an additional post of deputy prime minister. However, the IMF chief said the ruble’s exchange rate should be more flexible. “The IMF is of the opinion that it would be to the advantage of Russia to have a more flexible exchange rate. I once again, in the name of the fund, advised the Russian authorities to concentrate policy on inflation,” he said. (