(Writes through with new detail, quotes)
By Darya Korsunskaya
MOSCOW, March 14 Russia's state treasury could
start buying foreign currency on the domestic market without the
help of the central bank from next year, the head of the
treasury said on Tuesday.
The move would help distance the central bank from the
foreign-currency purchases Russian authorities launched last
month as part of efforts to protect the country's fiscal
reserves and keep the rouble from strengthening too far.
People involved in planning those purchases have told
Reuters the central bank was nervous about being involved in
helping to carry them out and has been at pains to convince
investors they should not be equated with interventions.
The head of the treasury, Roman Artyukhin, told reporters on
Tuesday that authorities were not rushing to grant the treasury
the right to act independently of the central bank but that the
latter supported the initiative.
"We understand that we can't be a bull in a china shop with
regard to monetary policy, which the Bank of Russia controls,
and fiscal policy, which is the area of responsibility of the
finance ministry, so of course we will carefully coordinate all
steps with them," said the deputy head of the treasury,
The treasury reports to the finance ministry.
Separately, Prokofyev said the treasury planned to use
foreign-currency swaps to place its leftover foreign currency by
September, since demand is not that great among banks for the
forex deposits it currently offers.
Russia could offer between $0.5 billion and $1 billion out
of the $2 billion-$4 billion it typically keeps in reserve in
foreign currency on its treasury accounts, he said.
(Writing by Alexander Winning; Editing by Katya Golubkova and