Ukraine’s central bank has imposed a temporary ban on purchases of foreign currencies by authorized banks on behalf of their customers.
The ban, in effect from February 25 to February 27, is the latest move by Ukraine’s National Bank aimed at supporting the troubled hryvnya currency.
The central bank also increased the waiting time from three to four business days for the purchase of foreign currency through deposits in special accounts, or for making advance payments on imports worth more than $50,000.
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk criticized the move, saying it was made without consultation with the government and would not bring stability to the hryvnya.
Yatsenyuk also called on parliament to convene urgently to debate how to stabilize Ukraine’s financial system.
Ukraine’s conflict has hit the economy hard, with the hryvnya losing about 70 percent of its value on foreign-exchange markets during the past year.
On February 23, with the hryvnya trading about 9 percent lower than its level the previous week, the central bank capped payments in foreign currencies at $500,000 without letters of credit from foreign banks.