* Inflation a greater risk than economic slowdown
* Rouble seen stable
* Central bank not intervening in FX market
* Reuters poll points to Q4 hike, but not this week
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MOSCOW, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Russia's central bank may hold or raise interest rates at its meeting this week, a policymaker said on Tuesday, signalling the bank's strong focus on inflation after it made a surprise hike last month.
First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said he considered inflation risks to be greater than those of an economic slowdown, adding that he expected the rouble to remain stable on foreign exchange markets.
"We don't rule out holding rates or raising them," Ulyukayev told reporters on the fringes of a financial conference. The bank holds its next monthly policy meeting on Friday.
According to economists polled last week by Reuters, the central bank will jack up interest rates by a quarter point before the end of this year but probably not this week.
It hiked interest rates for the first time in nine months last month, bucking a global trend of interest rate and monetary easing, even as the country's economic recovery shows signs of faltering.
Its main policy rate, the one-day fixed repo rate, stands at 6.5 percent.
The Bank of Russia, which is undertaking a long-term shift from targeting the rouble's exchange rate to focusing on inflation, has also expressed concern that consumer price growth may continue to exceed its year-end target of 6 percent.
Annual inflation stood at 6.3 percent as of mid-September, pushed higher by a drought-affected harvest and recent increases in the cost of household utilities.
The central bank will fail to prevent inflation from rising over the fourth quarter despite an expected rate hike, the Reuters poll of 16 analysts also found.
The central bank is reducing the amount of currency it buys and sells on the foreign exchange market. It does not intervene at all when the rouble is at the centre of its target range against a dollar-euro currency basket, as it is now.
"The rouble is at the centre of the currency corridor - we are not buying or selling," Ulyukayev said. "This situation will persist in the near future - the basket is at a level of 35 roubles."
(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Douglas Busvine, Editing by Maya Dyakina, John Stonestreet)
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Keywords: RUSSIA CBANK/