Russian state news agency Interfax reported that President Putin’s adviser Andrey Belousov complained about the strengthening ruble. Stronger ruble means lower income for the Russian central budget and damages the competitiveness of the Russian industry and agriculture, Belousov said.
Lower demand for the local currency and a sharp decline in capital outflow in the second quarter of 2016 strengthened the ruble, increasing its value to the dollar by 17% since the beginning of the year. The Russian Government decided to make the best of the ruble’s decline after the Crimean crisis and the introduction of mutual trade sanctions between Russia and the West. At the beginning of 2014, the ruble traded at just above 33 to a dollar, then rose to over 78 in February 2016. On July 20, the USD/RUR trade closed at 63.82.