Putin: No Ruble Bets With State Cash

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin vowed Friday to stop banks from taking state bailout money abroad to speculate against the ruble.

"Any attempts to move abroad the government money that was assigned to support the real economy will be strictly prevented," Putin said at a Cabinet meeting.

Russia is handing out more than $200 billion in bailout money to help domestic companies survive the financial crisis, which has made refinancing debts in Western markets almost impossibly expensive.

Putin said he supported Central Bank attempts to tighten control over banks getting state support. He also said tariff policies should be changed to protect the domestic car industry and agriculture.

Putin added that the country's exchange rate policy should benefit Russian importers and not hurt exporters.