MOSCOW, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Saturday reducing inflation in Russia is a top priority to soften its impact on the nation's economy.
Kudrin said rising inflation was directly impacting long-term investments in Russia's industry and processing branches, while driving up credit rates dramatically, RIA Novosti reported.
"In Russia, inflation has become a brake for long-term investment ... . The credit rate cannot be lower than inflation, and Russia's credit rates exceed those at U.S. and European markets by several times," Kudrin said.
In 2007, inflation in Russia was at 11.9 percent after running at 9 percent in 2006.
While the 2006 percentage was in line with the Russian government's inflation targets, the 2007 total far exceeded the 8 percent target set by Russian finance officials.
The Russian news agency reported Kudrin had previously stated that his ministry's inflation target for 2008 was 8.5 percent.