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Monday, January 11, 1999 Published at 12:23 GMT

World: Europe

Senior Russian central bank official steps down

The Russian central bank has confirmed that one of its most senior officials -- the first deputy chairman, Andrei Kozlov -- is stepping down on January the twenty-fifth.

Correspondents say Mr Kozlov was the last influential reformist in the central bank.

He was one of the few senior officials to survive the financial collapse last August and had wanted to leave shortly afterwards, but stayed on at the request of the new chairman, Viktor Gerashchenko.

The central bank has also announced that its reserves of gold and hard currency fell by just over thirty-one percent last year from seventeen-point-eight billion dollars to twelve-point-two-billion dollars.

Meanwhile the ruble dropped sharply again today Monday, losing almost three percent of its value against the dollar.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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