MOSCOW, April 5 Russia's finance ministry said
on Wednesday it would step up its daily foreign exchange
purchases to 3.5 billion roubles ($62.57 million) over the
It said in a statement that it would purchase a total of
69.9 billion roubles in the April 7 to May 5 period.
That is up slightly from the daily purchase volume of 3.2
billion roubles in the month to April 6, but well below the
average 4.2 billion roubles predicted by analysts polled by
The finance ministry started buying foreign currency in
February, saying the purchases are aimed at shielding Russia
from external shocks. Critics, however, say they are an attempt
to stop the rouble from strengthening too much.
($1 = 55.9401 roubles)
(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya and Sujata Rao; editing by