Russia’s Emergency Hike Saves Putin from Currency Collapse

russia s emergency hike saves putin from currency collapse.jpg Business

Russia’s Central Bank Raises Interest Rates in Emergency Meeting

In an unprecedented move, Russia’s central bank has decided to increase interest rates by 3.5 percentage points, reaching 12%. This emergency meeting was held in response to the significant impact of Western sanctions on the Russian ruble due to the conflict in Ukraine.

The central bank justified its decision by citing "substantial" upside risks to inflation caused by the collapsing currency. Just days before the meeting, a deputy governor had dismissed concerns about the exchange rate. However, the ruble’s fall below the psychological floor of 100 to a U.S. dollar prompted the central bank to take immediate action.

This sharp decline in the ruble has wiped out all the gains it made last year, reaching depths not seen since the early days of the war. The pressure on the central bank intensified as Kremlin ally Vladimir Solovyov demanded on his Russian state TV show that they take action.

The Russian economy heavily relies on the West for machinery and equipment needed to run its factories. However, Western sanctions have severely limited access to key intermediates, including microchips, which are crucial for expanding output. As a result, consumers have been forced to look abroad to meet their demand for finished goods.

This increased reliance on imports has put heavy downward pressure on the ruble and threatens the central bank’s price stability target of 4%. The bank’s decision to raise interest rates to 12% is an acknowledgment that its previous rate hike in July was insufficient to stabilize the currency.

Compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s cautious approach to interest rate hikes, Russia’s central bank has taken drastic measures to address the crisis. Even during periods of inflation concerns, Fed Chair Jay Powell only increased rates by 75 basis points over a six-month timeframe.

The impact of this decision on the Russian economy and financial markets remains to be seen. However, it underscores the severity of the situation and the central bank’s determination to stabilize the ruble amidst Western sanctions.


  1. Russia’s central bank has raised interest rates by 3.5 percentage points to 12% in an emergency meeting to tackle the plummeting ruble caused by Western sanctions.
  2. The depreciation of the ruble has wiped out all its gains from last year and reached depths not seen since the early days of the conflict in Ukraine.
  3. The central bank’s decision reflects the seriousness of the situation and its commitment to maintaining price stability amidst imported inflation.
  4. Western sanctions have limited Russia’s access to crucial intermediates, such as microchips, leading to increased reliance on imports and putting pressure on the ruble.
  5. This drastic interest rate hike highlights the divergence in monetary policy approaches between Russia and the U.S. Federal Reserve, with the former taking more aggressive measures to address the crisis.
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