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April 4, 2022

NBU appeals for ban on transactions in Russian and Belarusian rubles

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The Ukrainian central bank has called on the banking regulators of several nations to impose a ban on transactions in Russian and Belarusian rubles.

In his address to the European Commission and the central bank of the UK, the US, Japan and the EU, the National Bank of Ukraine governor Kyrylo Shevchenko also asked to place a ban on the opening of new ruble-denominated accounts and exchange of rubles for other currencies.

Shevchenko noted “a sweeping ban that will forbid financial institutions based in these countries and their counterparties to process payments in the Russian and Belarusian rubles,” and increase pressure on Russia.

The news comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on transitioning to payments for natural gas in rubles for ‘unfriendly countries’.

The NBU said that Russia’s move is an effort to circumvent sanctions that target Moscow’s assets denominated in dollars and euros.

“The aggressor is making every effort to convert its trade in energy and other natural resources into rubles, trying to generate additional demand for its domestic currency and thus shore it up,” it added.

“A ban on making settlements in rubles would derail Russia’s plan to switch to being paid in its domestic currency. This step would only preserve the status quo in trade settlements with Russia,” the governor noted.

Earlier, the NBU had called on these nations to impose sanctions on the local arms of Russian banks and cut ties with banking entities in Russia and Belarus.

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