Ruble plummets as sanctions bite, sending Russians to banks

Russia Ukraine War Russia Economy
Posted at 5:56 AM, Feb 28, 2022

MOSCOW (AP) — Ordinary Russians are facing the prospect of higher prices as Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine sent the ruble plummeting.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions targeting the Russian central bank and state investment funds.

That's led uneasy people to line up at banks and ATMs on Monday in a country that has seen more than one currency disaster in the post-Soviet era.

The Russian currency plunged about 30% against the U.S. dollar Monday after Western nations announced moves to block some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payment system and to restrict Russia's use of its massive foreign currency reserves.

The exchange rate later recovered ground after swift action by Russia's central bank.

Citizens were warned by Moscow’s department of public transport over the weekend that they might experience problems with using Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, the news outlet reported.

“The unprecedented action we are taking today will significantly limit Russia’s ability to use assets to finance its destabilizing activities, and target the funds Putin and his inner circle depend on to enable his invasion of Ukraine,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen in a news release. “Today, in coordination with partners and allies, we are following through on key commitments to restrict Russia’s access to these valuable resources.”

The impact could cause “hundreds of billions of dollars” in Russian funding, the AP reported.