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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


The Buck Stops Here

A ban on the circulation of foreign currency (primarily the dollar) introduced concurrently with the gold chervonets coin are the measures that Sverdlovsk region Governor Eduard Rossel believes can save the president and the country. Having been receptive to the idea of tying the ruble to gold reserves, Boris Yeltsin bluntly refused to "save himself" by expelling the transatlantic bank note. ...

Following the presidential "no" there was a long silence on the air waves, broken finally at the end of Thursday by Yevgeny Primakov's announcement: "People will be able to freely buy and sell hard currency in Russia."

Segodnya, Oct. 2

Currency Quandary

Yevgeny Primakov assured us from the television screen Thursday that there is no threat to the dollar in Russia. Experience with dealing with the authorities shows that the very opposite is sure to be true. We didn't have to look far for confirmation of this.

On Tuesday [Deputy Chairwoman of the Central Bank] Tatyana Paramonova spoke in the State Duma of the approaching persecution of the dollar, and then Thursday attempted rather clumsily to take back her words.

The same day First Deputy Trade Minister Ivan Gorbachev openly acknowledged that the government was discussing plans for imposing restrictions on hard currency.

This is clearly laid out in Yury Maslyukov's draft economic plan published Thursday in this newspaper. In this document, for example, it is proposed that banks will be able to freely purchase hard currency from the population, but as for the population buying dollars f not a word.

Other drafts included restrictions on taking currency out of the country, even with a supporting bank documentation, imposing a limit of $3,000. This point was removed in the last draft, but it still doesn't mean that it's out of the question.

Which all means, then, that whatever we hear from [presidential spokesman] Dmitry Yakushin, Tatyana Paramonova or Yevgeny Primakov, the taming of the dollar is a lawful and essential milestone on the government's chosen course.

And this course takes the following direction: ruble emission to inflation, to manipulation of the dollar exchange rate and restrictions on the cash dollar (non-cash will only be for settling accounts with foreign partners), to forcing commercial banks out of business, to price regulation, to economy of deficit.

Kommersant Daily, Oct. 2