Vladimir Putin Pressures Russian Exporters to Sell Foreign Currency
MOSCOW – Vladimir Putin’s government has resumed pressure on exporters to sell foreign currency in an effort to prevent global market turbulence from triggering another rouble sell-off.
In meetings and calls from August 19, Central Bank and cabinet officials instructed executives at state-owned and private companies on when and how much of their dollar revenues to convert to roubles, company officials said.
“There is monitoring on a daily basis now,” said an executive at diamond miner Alrosa, while a person close to Rosneft, the state oil company, said: “Forex sales are being conducted on direct orders from the government.”
Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister, confirmed that the government was again leaning on exporters. During a visit to the disputed territory of the Kuril Islands on Saturday, he pledged that in the medium term the rouble would be “brought back” to the levels at which it had been trading before the latest rout.
“Of course we, I mean the government, will also help the Central Bank in the sense of getting additional foreign currency inflows,” Russian news agencies quoted Mr Medvedev as saying. “I believe that there will also soon be additional foreign currency sales by our exporters, which will also be felt in the rouble’s exchange rates.”
The move mirrors measures Russia employed amid the dramatic fall of the rouble at the end of 2014.
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