Russia's central bank will start buying foreign currency if oil prices rise to $88-$90 per barrel, governor Elvira Nabiullina told RBC media in an interview published on Monday.

She said the bank would still sell foreign currencies in January and the sales volumes would be announced soon.

In August, the bank stopped buying foreign currencies until the end of the year to avoid aggravating pressure on the rouble, which tumbled past 100 to the U.S. dollar in August and September.

It has since recovered, and was trading at around 92 on Monday.

"Whether we are a net (forex) seller or a net buyer depends largely on the price of oil," Nabiullina told RBC.

Brent oil futures settled at $79.07 per barrel on Friday.


Russian President Vladimir Putin introduced in October mandatory sales of foreign exchange proceeds for some exporting companies to stabilise the rouble.

At the time, the rouble was plumbing more than 18-month lows against the dollar. The Russian currency has been under pressure from capital outflows and limited foreign currency supply.

The mandatory forex sales are effective until March 2024.

Nabiullina said the measure should be temporary and that the bank does not expect sharp changes on the forex market when it expires.

She also said the central bank would need two to three months to make sure inflation was steadily declining before taking any decision on interest rate cuts.

(Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin Editing by Mark Potter)