Russian central bank has lowered its benchmark interest rate to 17 pc

MOSCOW: The Bank of Russia has decided to lower the main rate by 300 basis points, to 17%, effective April 11.

"External conditions for the Russian economy remain difficult, restricting economic activity significantly. Financial stability concerns are still there, but they have slowed for the time being, thanks in part to the capital control measures that have been implemented "The central bank said in a statement, according to state news report.

The Russian central bank maintains the possibility of more key rate reductions at subsequent sessions, according to the statement, with the next rate review meeting scheduled for April 29.

Just four days after starting its war in Ukraine, Russia hiked the key rate from 9.5 percent to 20 percent on February 28 to preserve financial and price stability and protect residents' savings from depreciation.

At the March 18 rate review meeting, the central bank chose to retain the key rate at 20%.

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