President Vladimir Putin’s government is pressuring Russia’s Central Bank to be “more optimistic” about the country’s economy amid the invasion of Ukraine and international sanctions, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

Russian officials reportedly want the Bank of Russia to send a “clearer hint” that interest rates may drop later this year, Bloomberg reported, citing its sources.

The head of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiulina, and her colleagues were “open to improving forecasts” but were “reluctant to suggest an imminent easing” for fear of inflation, according to Bloomberg.

According to Bloomberg sources, the key rate will remain at 7.5% for the third time in a row after the first meeting of the Central Bank Board this year on Friday.

The Bank of Russia, which last cut rates in September before adopting “neutral” bias, argued that the slowdown in inflation may be temporary, while the economic situation is too unstable to make any specific predictions, Bloomberg reports citing sources.

Last week, the first deputy head of the Central Bank, Ksenia Yudaeva, said in an interview an interview that forecasts may be revised due to changes in the labor market, oil prices and other factors.

Neither the government press service nor the Central Bank responded to Bloomberg’s request for comment.

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