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Russian Inflation to Reach 12 Percent in 2007

Russia's finance minister says the inflation will be near 12 percent this year, exceeding the government's earlier forecast of eight percent.

Alexei Kudrin said in an interview aired Saturday on a television (Vesti) news channel that higher food and oil prices and a significant capital influx caused the higher than expected inflation.

He said the government's goal for 2008 is to keep inflation at eight percent.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose term in office ends in March, said on Thursday that the government's priority for next year should be lowering inflation.

He attributed booming prices of some Russian goods to the situation in global markets.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.