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Ruble Gains Ahead Of Putin Press Conference


Ahead of an annual press conference by Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 18, the ruble was trading well above the record lows it hit earlier this week.

The government has spent billions of dollars from its hard currency reserves and on December 17 vowed further intervention to strengthen the ruble, which has lost nearly half its value against the dollar this year and hit a low of about 80 to the dollar on December 16.

The Russian currency was trading at about 59 per dollar less than two hours before Putin's Kremlin press conference, scheduled to start at noon (10 a.m. Prague time).

The ruble and the Russia's energy-reliant economy have been hit by falling prices for oil and sanctions imposed by the United States, the EU, and other Western nations over Moscow's interference in Ukraine.

Putin has enjoyed sky-high approval ratings since annexing Crimea from Ukraine in March, but economic troubles increase the political risks for the longtime leader, who has cast himself as a guarantor of stability.

With reporting by Interfax and Reuters
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