Kudrin: Russia strugging to control prices

Feb. 19, 2011 at 10:58 AM

MOSCOW, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin expressed doubts the country would keep inflation under 7 percent in 2011, Kudrin said at an economic forum Saturday.

"We are not abandoning our goals now, but it could be difficult to reach 7 percent inflation target this year," RIA Novosti reported from Moscow.

Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach has already said inflation could exceed 7 percent to 8 percent. Kudrin said inflation would surpass the target of 6 percent to 7 percent in the first half of the year and cool down in the second half.

"Many countries have managed to control (prices) but we have so far failed to do so," Kudrin said.

"There is a danger that we could lose control of monetary factors of inflation," he added.

In part, prices in Russia are escalating due to a drought last summer that decimated the country's wheat crop.

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