The percentage point cut was broadly in line with consensus, although some analysts -- such as Dan Salter, head of equity strategy at Renaissance Capital - had expected.
"We were of the view that with the Russian economy in recession this year, that the central bank could afford to front-load the rate cut slightly more than they did," he told CNBC Friday.
The latest monetary policy decision comes after December's surprise hike in its key interest rate from 10.5 percent to 17 percent as the central bank tried to shore up the weakening ruble and combat inflation. The controversial move was criticized by a number of high-profile government ministers, including President Vladimir Putin.
Read More'Storm is coming': Russians still fear crisis
The country still faces major challenges on both of these fronts, however. Over the last 12 months, the ruble has weakened close to 70 percent against the dollar, and inflation came in at 16.7 percent in February, according to official figures.
The CBR said Friday that it expected annual price growth to slow to 9 percent over the year, and to hit its target of 4 percent in 2017.
"As inflation risks abate, the Bank of Russia will be ready to continue cutting the key rate," it said in a statement.
Renaissance Capital's Salter agreed that he saw a "gradual" decline in inflation over the year, and, as a result: "The central bank does have justification in cutting rates down, we believe."