MOSCOW, March 20. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Federation will not raise taxes to 2018, nor will it lower the pre-planned budget expenses, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Thursday.

“The government is not going in any case to lower the pre-planned budget expenses during the current three-year period,” he said.

“Nor shall we raise taxes to 2018,” he added.

Russia’s Finance Ministry hopes the key rate will return to 5.5%, if the market conditions are not getting worse, Minister  said.

“If there are no major changes, we shall hope the Central Bank returns the key rate to the original position,” he stressed.

At the same time Russian Finance Ministry forecasts higher inflation rate in the second quarter of the year over weaker rouble and annual inflation rate is expected to be at 5-6%.

“Weaker rouble will affect price growth on imported products, but if there are no changes in current conditions, annual inflation rate will make 5-6%,” Siluanov stated.

“Weaker rouble exchange rate at the beginning of the year may spur up inflation in the second quarter,” the minister said.

According to him, the inflation rate should stabilise in the second half of 2014.