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Russian Currency Hits Lowest Level In A Year

The Russian ruble hit its lowest level in a year against the U.S. currency on December 30, falling to 73.2 rubles per dollar.

The ruble lost 40 percent of its value last year and is now 20 percent down compared to a year ago as the country's economy suffers from the effects of Western economic sanctions and plunging oil prices.

The Russian economy has been hit hard by sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union, and other countries because of Moscow's 2014 annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Prices for oil -- Russia's key export commodity -- are currently hovering around 11-year lows.

Russia's Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukaev said on December 29 that the government is not so much concerned about the drop in the value of the national currency but rather its volatility, which makes budget planning difficult.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters