Russia's finance ministry said on Tuesday it would decrease the volume of deferred foreign currency purchases in the coming month by more than 2-1/2 times to a cumulative total of 244.8 billion roubles ($2.68 billion).
The purchases are deferred because the central bank in August stopped buying foreign currency until the end of the year to avoid aggravating pressure on the rouble, which tumbled past 100 to the dollar in August and September.
The finance ministry said its purchases of foreign currencies and gold for the period from Dec. 7 to Jan. 12 that will be deferred to a later date would amount to 11.7 billion roubles per day.
In the previous period, between Nov. 8 and Dec. 6, the ministry had planned to buy foreign currency worth 621.1 billion roubles.
Under its budget rule, Russia sells foreign currency from its wealth fund to make up for any shortfall in revenue from oil and gas exports, or makes purchases in the event of a surplus. ($1 = 91.3625 roubles) (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya and Alexander Marrow Editing by Gareth Jones)