Putin Is Temporarily Banning Foreigners From Pulling Money Out of Russia
The ban will reportedly go into effect on Wednesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly signed a decree that will temporarily prevent foreign investors in Russia from selling their assets and withdrawing funds from the country in excess of $10,000.
Mikhail Mishustin, Russia’s prime minister, announced the ban during a government meeting on Tuesday. It is scheduled to go into effect on Wednesday.
The move is aimed at halting capital flight from the country, which has been hit with increasingly harsh economic sanctions from the U.S. and Europe after it invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. A growing list of Western companies, including BP and Shell, have announced plans to halt investments in Russia because of the invasion.
Mishustin said that the ban would give foreign investors a “chance to make a considered decision” before selling off their Russian assets.
“In the current sanction situation, foreign entrepreneurs are forced to be guided not by economic factors, but to make decisions under political pressure,” Reuters quoted Mishustin as saying.
The Russian ruble fell nearly 30 percent on Monday, making it worth less than one penny. The weakening ruble could quickly lead to inflation in Russia, exacerbating the economic strain of the sanctions on the country’s financial system as well as on its population.
As Russians have scrambled to drop the sinking ruble, ruble-denominated bitcoin trading volumes have reached a nine-month high.
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