As Russia grapples with a plummeting ruble, President Vladimir Putin has taken an unprecedented step to stabilize the national currency. The ruble is currently facing its worst downturn since the onset of the Ukraine conflict, prompting Putin to issue a special directive aimed at large exporters, particularly in the energy sector.
In recent weeks, the ruble has been valued at or even below one American cent. Despite initial attempts by Kremlin propaganda to minimize the currency's decline, the severity of the situation has become evident through various indicators, including actions taken by both the central bank and Putin himself.
Putin recently signed a decree mandating that major exporters must convert a portion of their foreign currency earnings. This move received the backing of the Bank of Russia, despite its previous stance that such a measure would not be effective.
"Due to budgetary needs, we require a somewhat lower dollar rate, which is why the foreign exchange revenue decree was signed," Putin explained, as reported by the "Kommersant" newspaper.
The undisclosed decree targets 43 corporate groups in sectors such as energy, metallurgy, chemicals, forestry, and agriculture. While the Kremlin has not released the names of the affected companies, citing "hostile actions from certain countries," it is likely that major firms like Gazprom and Lukoil are included.
As of last Friday, the exchange rate stood at 97.5 rubles per dollar, marking a 53.14% increase in the dollar's strength against the ruble over the past year.