Putin demands Russian central bank act to stop ruble 'speculation'

Putin demands Russian central bank act to stop ruble 'speculation'

MOSCOW - Agence France-Presse
Putin demands Russian central bank act to stop ruble speculation

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual state of the nation address in the Kremlin in Moscow, Dec. 4. REUTERS Photo

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the central bank and government on Dec. 4 to take "tough action" to stop speculation on the ruble  after the currency hit new all-time lows this week.

"I ask the Bank of Russia and the government to carry out tough coordinated actions to discourage the so-called speculators from trading on the fluctuations of the Russian currency," he said during his annual state of the nation speech in Moscow.

Putin's anti-western rhetoric in the beginning of the address caused the ruble to tumble by nearly two percent but it then recovered on the remarks about central bank actions.

On Dec. 3 the Russian currency, which took a hit in recent weeks due to falling oil prices and continuing Western sanctions over Moscow's stance on Ukraine, hit a record low of 54.82 to the dollar.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov moved to dispel widely circulated rumours that the government plans to limit foreign currency sales in Russia.

"Nobody plans to place currency limits," he was quoted as saying by Interfax. He added however that the government and central bank plan to coordinate activity on the foreign exchange market by Russia's exporters.

"Together with large recipients of foreign currency we plan to coordinate sales," he said.