Russia has not declared the dollar an invalid payment currency

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The claim that Russia declared the Dollar invalid payment currency is out of context. There is lack of Dollars in cash in Russia hence the limit of Dollars that one can withdraw from the banks. Otherwise, in Russia, even before the military invasion, the payment currency that could have been used in the payment system was the Ruble i.e., one could have exchanged Dollars for Rubles in exchange offices in order to go shopping, writes

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We are fact-checking a post published on the social network Facebook claiming that:

Russia declared the Dollar invalid payment currency… toilet…. Run away from evil.

On 29th November 2022, Tass Agency published that the exchange rate of the Ruble in 2023 will remain stable, while the Dollar could reach 66 to 67 Rubles, quoting the economist Andrey Klepach.

Inflation will indeed slow down to 5 percent. In the future – to around 4 [percent]. At the same time, the exchange rate of the Ruble will be quite stable – 66 to 67 Rubles per Dollar next year, he said.

All payments in Russia are made with the local currency, the Ruble. Transactions in Euros and Dollars are not allowed, but credit or debit cards can always be used for payments and they are accepted almost everywhere in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, as well as country-wide.

In March 2022, the Central Bank of Russia barred Russian citizens to buy Dollars with Rubles in the next six months. As published by Washington Post, the Central Bank of Russia, also limited the sum that citizens could withdraw from the banks to 10 thousand Dollars.

Anyone wanting to withdraw more than that from a hard-currency account, will have to take the balance in Rubles, informed at the time the Central Bank of Russia.

According to the Bank of Russia, the restrictions for buying hard currency will remain until 9th March 2023.

As is the case, the balance (above 10 thousand Dollars, our note) can be withdrawn in Rubles at the exchange rate determined by the Bank. Foreign cash can be withdrawn in Dollars or Euros, regardless of the currency of the account or deposit. The Bank of Russia must retain these and other cash restrictions due to the sanctions imposed on Russia that bar Russian financial institutions to purchase cash from Western countries, states the website of the Bank of Russia.

The American Embassy in Moscow noted that the Central Bank of Russia informed on 9th March 2022 that owners of foreign currency accounts, including American Dollars, will be able to withdraw up to 10 thousand Dollars in foreign currency within the period from 9th March to 9th September 2022. They are allowed to own foreign accounts with Dollars, to deposit foreign currency on their accounts and to withdraw money in Rubles if larger than 10 thousand Dollars.

Due to the fact that in Russia, even before the military invasion, the currency used in the payment system was the Ruble – i.e., one could have changed Dollars into Rubles in exchange offices and then go shopping – it is not true that Russia declared the Dollar as invalid payment currency. In Russia, people are allowed to withdraw up to 10 thousand Dollars from their accounts provided they have been deposited in that same currency. Banks in Russia are allowed to sell American Dollars to Russian citizens, if those Dollars were accepted by the banks after 9th April 2022.

Restrictions apply to companies registered in Russia also. They can withdraw only 5 thousand Dollars in cash to cover business costs.

Since the end of June, Russian citizens are permitted abroad – outside of Russia – to transfer up to 1 million Dollars per  month from their Russian bank accounts.

Restrictions with Western currencies started 9th March 2022 as a response of Russia to the USA and EU prohibition to export Dollars and Euros in Russia. Consequently, Russia has shortages of Dollars and Euros in cash.

Due to all of the above-noted facts, we deem that the post we are fact-checking lacks context. Russia did not declare the Dollar invalid for payment but has shortages of Dollars in cash, thereby restricting the limit of Dollars that can be withdrawn from the banks.