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Central Bank Defends Ruble

Published: May 7, 2014 (Issue # 1809)



  • Despite the billions of dollars spent by the Central Bank defending the ruble, its value reached historic lows in March.
    Photo: Yevgeny Stetsko / Fotoimedia

TheCentral Bank threw $2.4 billion intoshoring up theruble inApril, nine times less than the$22.3 billion it spent tosupport theRussian currency inMarch.

Thebank also spent 248 million euros defending thecurrency, down fromnearly 2.3 billion euros inthe previous month, according todata published onthe banks website.

Since thebeginning ofthe year, theruble has plummeted 9 percent against thedollar, despite anongoing rearguard action bythe Central Bank, which has funneled nearly $40 billion intodefending theruble.

OnMonday, theCentral Banks exchange rate was 35.7 rubles against thedollar.

Atthe root ofthe rubles decline are asharp economic slowdown inRussia anda huge increase incapital outflow, but thecrisis inUkraine has piled extra pressure onto thecurrency.

Theruble reached historical lows onMarch 18, two days after areferendum inCrimea yielded alandslide result infavor ofuniting theterritory with Russia inthe teeth ofresistance fromWestern nations.

Aprils currency interventions bythe Central Bank are thesmallest since October last year, when thebank sold $1.65 billion and133 million euros.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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