Russia could find it difficult to reach its 7% inflation target in 2011, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Saturday.
"We are not abandoning our goals now, but it could be difficult to reach 7% inflation target this year," Kudrin told an economic forum.
Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach said earlier this month that inflation could top 7-8% by the end of the year, while his boss, Minister Elvira Nabiullina said the ministry might revise the annual inflation target depending on the first quarter figures from the statistics service.
Kudrin said earlier inflation in the first half of 2011 would exceed the projected figure but would slow down in the second half of the year. The government is so far sticking to its 6-7% target.
"Many countries have managed to control [inflation], but we have so far failed to do so," Kudrin added.
The minister attributed the inflation spurt to growing food prices in the wake of the drought in the summer of 2010 and consequent poor harvest.
"There is a danger that we could lose control of monetary factors of inflation," he said.
He welcomed however the decision of the Russian government not to use all the profits from oil and gas exports on increasing budget spending.
"I believe this is a very important decision and we hope we will manage to curb inflation in the second half of the year," he said.
KRASNOYARSK, February 19 (RIA Novosti)