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Washington bans all transactions with the Russian central bank


Washington has banned with immediate effect any transaction with the Russian monetary institution, announced the Treasury Department before the opening of US markets.

This decision has the effect of immobilizing all the assets that the central bank of Russia holds in the United States, or that would be held anywhere by American persons. »

A quote from Excerpt from the US Treasury press release

In fact, this decision, in connection with similar sanctions taken by many allies of the United States, will severely limit Moscow’s ability to use its abundant foreign exchange reserves to buy rubles.

These operations to defend the Russian currency, which is already collapsing, will no longer be possible and “Fortress Russia” is left defenselesscommented a senior official of the American administration during a conference call.

He felt that these coordinated sanctions would trigger a vicious circle for the Russian economy.

Inflation will certainly soar, purchasing power will collapse, investments will collapse. […] Our goal is to ensure that the Russian economy will shrink as long as President Putin decides to move forward with the invasion of Ukraine. »

A quote from senior Biden administration official

The United States also implemented sanctions on Monday against the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a public financial institution used by Russia in particular to raise funds abroad, and run by a close associate of Russian President Kirill Dmitriev.

This fund and its management are symbols of deep corruption in Russia and its influence peddling abroad, estimated the source quoted above.

The ruble collapses, the Moscow Stock Exchange closes

The ruble on Monday broke historic records of weakness against the dollar and the euro, due to the sanctions imposed due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so much so that the Moscow Stock Exchange kept its doors closed.

By midday, the dollar was trading at 100 rubles, down from 83.5 at the last official rate on Wednesday. The euro was worth 109.4 rubles, against 93.5 on the eve of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A ceiling is also set at regular intervals to stop trading and thus slow down the fall of the Russian currency.

To defend the economy and the national currency against Western sanctions, the Central Bank of Russia raised its key rate from 9.5% to 20% on Monday morning.

Faced with this situation, it also decided not to open the Moscow Stock Exchange on Monday, for fear of seeing Russian securities collapse as is the case elsewhere in the world.

Restrictive measures taken by the central bank, the Ministry of Finance and the stock market reduce volatility. The uncertainty is enormous and the Central Bank is acting with good reason. »

A quote from Alexei Vedev, analyst at the Gaidar Economic Institute

On the streets of Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russians were worried about their savings. While there was no bank rush, many citizens still went to withdraw their savings.

I knew there would be a crowd. I want to withdraw cash, keeping this at home is safer, we have no idea what will happensays Svetlana Paramonova, 58, who lives in Saint Petersburg.

Mr. Vedev confirms: the configuration of the Russian financial system is going to be completely different from before the sanctions. What will it be? It will be clear later.

The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin was working Monday on the economic response to the heavy Western sanctions imposed on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.

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