Ruble touches 99 to the US dollar, continuing the Russian currency’s monthslong fall

By The Associated Press

The Russian ruble, which has been steadily losing exchange value in a long fall since the beginning of the year, hit 99 to the dollar in Friday trading, its lowest level since the early weeks of the Ukraine war.

In January, the ruble traded at about 66 to the dollar but lost about a third of its value in subsequent months amid continuing concern about the Russian economy.

After Western countries imposed wide sanctions in the wake of the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, the ruble plunged to as low as 130 against the dollar, but the Russian Central Bank enacted capital controls that stabilized its value. By last summer, it was in the 50-60 range to the dollar.

International sanctions cut off a significant part of imports to Russia, which Central Bank deputy director Alexei Zabotkin said has contributed to the ruble’s fall.

“Activation of domestic demand also contributes to an increase in demand for imports, which, with limited exports, results in a weakening of the ruble, which also puts pressure on prices,” he said at a news conference on Friday.

Zabotkin dismissed speculation that capital flight from Russia was contributing to the ruble’s fall.

“The hypotheses that the exchange rate changes are associated with some significant capital transactions are not very substantiated at the moment,” he said.

The Associated Press

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