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ECB's Draghi says ready to take additional measures if needed

European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi addresses an ECB news conference December 4, 2014, for the first time in the ECB's new 1.3 billion euro headquarters in Frankfurt. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank's Governing Council stands ready to take unconventional measures if needed which could include buying government bonds, its president said on Thursday in a letter to a European Union lawmaker.

In the letter to Luke Ming Flanagan, Mario Draghi said that the Governing Council would closely monitor the "risks to the outlook for price developments over the medium term".

"It will be particularly vigilant as regards the broader impact of recent oil price developments on medium-term inflation trends in the euro area," he said.

"Should it become necessary to further address risks of too prolonged a period of low inflation, the Governing Council is unanimous in its commitment to using additional unconventional instruments within its mandate," he said.

He added that this "may entail the purchase of a variety of assets one of which could be sovereign bonds".

(Reporting By John O'Donnell; editing by Eva Taylor)