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Bloomberg: Russia considers targeting exporters to prevent collapse of ruble

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 17, 2023 7:20 PM 2 min read
People examine currency rates in front of an exchange office in Moscow on Aug. 11, 2023. (Photo by Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Russian government is preparing measures that target large exporters to control capital and prevent a collapse of the value of the ruble, Bloomberg reported on Aug. 17.

Russia is creating guidelines to "coax them into surrendering more of their foreign revenues," according to Bloomberg, but if the ruble does not stabilize, formal capital restrictions may be introduced.

When Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, it imposed capital controls to prevent the ruble's collapse after the economy was hit by international sanctions in response to its aggression.

The guidelines are currently being prepared for each large export company on an individual basis, Bloomberg sources said.

The move follows the Aug. 15 decision by Russia's Central Bank to hike its key interest rate by 350 basis points to 12% in reaction to a sharp decline of its currency.

The ruble briefly broke through 100 to the U.S. dollar on Aug. 14, the drop to its lowest point since the start of Russia's all-out war in February 2022.

Despite a summer bump in oil revenues, the Russian economy continues to be battered by Western sanctions and the costs of waging war in Ukraine. More countries have divested from Russian oil and gas, slashing Russia's export income to half its prewar levels.

Moreover, Russia has doubled its 2023 military spending to over $100 billion, or a third of the state budget.

Bloomberg reported that the ruble has lost about 22% of its value since the beginning of 2023.

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