Russia's central bank unexpectedly cut its main interest rate on Friday as fears of recession mount in the country following the fall in global oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis.
Russia has handed a multi-billion dollar contract to build a bridge to the Crimea peninsula to an ally and former judo partner of Vladimir Putin who is under Western sanctions.
For Boris Lisitsyn, Russia's financial crisis means less meat, cheese and sausage - hardships the 86-year-old says won't kill him anytime soon.
Growing damage from Russia's financial crisis on neighboring former Soviet states could bury President Vladimir Putin's dream of creating an economic union to rival the United States and European Union.
The Russian rouble staged an uncertain recovery on Tuesday as traders saw modest foreign-currency sales on the final day of trading before the New Year holidays.
Russian authorities are facing some unpalatable options as they try to keep the economy afloat - unless they can persuade President Vladimir Putin to curb massive military spending.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government on Wednesday to rein in rising vodka prices, as he battles to preserve his popularity amid an aggravating economic crisis.
Russia's ruble rose on Friday to its strongest levels in more than three weeks, in a sharp rebound from its recent all-time lows, after the government ordered exporters to sell some of their hard currency revenues.
China's trade minister proposed more use of China's currency in settling trade with Russia in the face of a falling rouble to ensure safe and reliable trade, Hong Kong broadcaster Phoenix TV reported on Saturday.
Late on Monday night Russia's central bank governor wrung out an agreement with her officials to impose the country's biggest rate hike since the financial crisis of 1998 -- with the approval of President Vladimir Putin.
The ruble weakened against the dollar and euro on Thursday with traders saying President Vladimir Putin had so far offered no concrete measures to pull Russia out of a crisis at his end-of-year news conference.
The ruble plunged more than 10 percent for the second day on Tuesday and recorded its worst fall since the Russian financial crisis in 1998 as confidence in the central bank evaporated after an ineffectual overnight rate hike.
The weakness of the rouble is hurting Russia, which has lost tens of billions of dollars because of sanctions imposed by the West in the Ukraine crisis, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.
Impromptu talks between Saudi Arabia, fellow OPEC member Venezuela and oil powers Russia and Mexico yielded no agreement on Tuesday on how to address a growing oil glut, ending without any plan to cut output despite a collapse in prices.
Crimeans should pay off their debts to Ukrainian banks despite now living under Russian law, a Russian central bank official was quoted as saying, marking a change in position by Moscow which had suggested ignoring any payment demands.
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