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That’s one way to prop up the ruble…

February 28, 2022, 3:13 PM UTC

Russia’s central bank is scrambling to protect the ruble as the country’s national currency plunged following international economic sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine.

On Monday, the central bank kept the Moscow Exchange closed. And the bank hinted that adjusted hours could be rolled out on Tuesday.

“Due to the current situation, the Bank of Russia has decided not to open a stock market section…or a derivatives market section on the Moscow Exchange today,” officials said in a statement. “The operating hours of the Moscow Exchange on March 1, 2022, will be announced on the official website of the Bank of Russia until 09:00 Moscow time on March 1, 2022.”

The move comes on the heels of the central bank’s decision to more than double interest rates from 9.5% to 20% in an attempt to prevent a run on banks in the country.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, is doing its best to both acknowledge the sanctions and downplay them.

“The economic reality has considerably changed,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters, according to Reuters. “These are heavy sanctions, they are problematic, but Russia has the potential to offset the harm…Russia has been making plans for quite a long time for possible sanctions, including the most severe ones. There are response plans; they were developed and are being implemented as problems appear…We have had no reason to doubt the effectiveness and reliability of our central bank. There is no reason to doubt it now.”

As of Monday morning, the ruble was worth approximately one penny.

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