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Russia Cuts Interest Rate For Third Time In 2017

The Russian central bank has lowered its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point, a small reduction aimed to invigorate the economy while keeping inflation in check.

The Bank of Russia announced on June 16 it had lowered the rate to 9 percent from 9.25 percent in the third cut this year.

It follows a half-point decrease in April, and the bank said it will continue what it called a "moderately tough" monetary policy to keep inflation close to the government's target of 4 percent.

Annual inflation stood at 4.1 percent last month.

"Inflation risks were down in the short term," a statement said, warning that they remain "elevated" in the medium term.

The bank forecasts an economic growth rate of 1.3-1.8 percent in 2017.

Russia's economy is emerging from a recession that began in 2014, the year world oil prices fell and Western countries imposed sanctions over Moscow's aggression in Ukraine.

With reporting by AFP and Bloomberg
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