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Siluanov Rejects Capital Controls for Russia

Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov attends the Reuters Russia Investment Summit in Moscow.

Restrictions on capital and currency movements would be "absolutely unacceptable," Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Wednesday.

On Tuesday the Russian Central Bank said it was not considering possible capital controls, denying a media report that such discussions were taking place.The report sent the ruble tumbling and briefly forced the bank to intervene to restrain its fall.

The ruble has slid 6.5 percent agains the dollar over the last month, and more than 20 percent so for this year, as Western sanctions compound an economic slowdown in the country.

Antonio Spilimbergo, the International Monetary Fund's mission head to Russia, told journalists that the IMF agreed with the Central Bank's stance agains the measure and added that the introduction of capital controls would not help Russia.

The IMF, however, urged Russia's Central Bank to tighten its monetary policy to anchor inflation expectations. It expects inflation this year to come above 8 percent. "The monetary policy is very important to keep inflation on target and it is important to anchor inflation expectations," Spilimbergo said.

The IMF halved its forecast for Russia's 2015 gross domestic product to 0.5 percent on Wednesday, saying international tensions had created downside risks to its estimates.

Andrei Kostin, chief executive officer of Russia's state-controlled VTB bank, meanwhile, stated that the introduction of capital controls in Russia cannot be ruled out, but the measure is unlikely to be introduced anytime soon.

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