Deputy confident Russia will withstand turmoil

The Russian finance industry will escape largely unscathed from the credit crunch, though lending conditions may get tighter, said Gennady Melikyan, a first deputy chairman at the Central Bank of Russia.

"The crisis in the West was inevitable and I think it will continue," he told reporters on Tuesday. "However we are confident that Russian banks will be able to withstand this."

Melikyan acknowledged that foreign borrowing had become more difficult, but said growth rates had not slowed.

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