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Russians looking for cash: Long queues at ATMs. Concerns about the ruble

Long queues at ATMs, in search of rubles but above all for dollars, which are increasingly difficult to find. A few days ago this scene was usual in major Russian cities. In the last hours the lines grew again after the new, heavy, fines It was agreed by the G7 countries and the European Union as a whole, which excludes some Russian banks from the system of international rapid payments and freezes the assets of the Central Bank of Moscow held abroad.

“I was queuing for an hour, but the foreign currency was gone everywhere, only rubles,” Vladimir, a 28-year-old programmer, told Bloomberg as he waited in a long line at an ATM in a shopping center. “I was late to work because I didn’t think all this could happen. I am in shock.”

The rush to the dollar has not even slowed down due to the “punitive” exchange rate offered by some banks, which in some cases exchange currencies for more than 100 rubles per dollar, against the official exchange rate of 83.7.

The widespread fear is that on Monday, when trading opens, the Russian currency will collapse in the markets, in a “panic selling” whose first hints were seen last week.

The exchange rates presented by banks on Sunday, February 27 already reflect great uncertainty: they range from 98.08 rubles per dollar from Alfa Bank to 99.49 at Sberbank, up to 105 from Vtb Group and 115 rubles from Otkritie Bank.

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Harold Manning

"Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover."

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