Russia Stock Exchange Halts Trading in Dollar and Euro Amid Fresh U.S. Sanctions

Trading in U.S. dollars, the euro, and Hong Kong dollars was brought to a standstill on Russia’s primary stock exchange on Thursday, following the imposition of new U.S. sanctions targeting Moscow’s military operations.

The Bank of Russia announced the suspension of trading sessions involving foreign-exchange, precious metals, and derivatives markets on the Moscow Stock Exchange that utilized said currencies due to the impact of U.S. sanctions.

Nevertheless, currency trading will persist in the over-the-counter market, where transactions occur directly between parties without exchange supervision.

The U.S. Treasury’s sanctions extended to the Moscow exchange and Russia’s central securities depository, affecting services related to bank accounts, registration of over-the-counter trades, and liquidity management.

Despite the restrictions, the Russian central bank assured the public of the continued ability to conduct currency transactions through domestic banks and guaranteed the security of deposits.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov conveyed through Russian state news agency TASS that the central bank possesses the capacity to maintain stability across all markets.

The Biden administration’s recent sanctions, targeting over 300 entities and individuals, aim to disrupt networks facilitating Russia’s procurement of technology and equipment for its operations in Ukraine via third countries, notably singling out China.

While Beijing has officially declared a neutral stance on the conflict in Ukraine, its close economic ties with Russia have solidified, acting as a crucial support system for Russian President Vladimir Putin to stabilize his economy amidst Western sanctions.