Ukraine bans transactions in Russian and Belarusian rubles

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The country’s central bank earlier prohibited financial operations on accounts of Russian residents

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) said on Friday it has prohibited the country’s banks from making any foreign exchange transactions using Russian and Belarusian rubles.

According to the regulator, Ukrainian banks will also not be able to make any foreign exchange transactions, if the participant involved is an individual or legal entity located in either Russia or Belarus.

On Thursday, the Ukraine’s central bank switched to an emergency mode of operation and announced a number of restrictive measures due to martial law being imposed throughout the country. The regulator has banned operations on the accounts of Russian residents and introduced a moratorium on cross-border currency payments. An exception was made to fulfill the tasks of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

In addition, the NBU suspended the activities of the foreign exchange market, with the exception of transactions for the sale of foreign currency. It was forbidden to issue foreign currency in cash to banks, but the measure does not apply to those government-linked institutions.

The head of the central bank, Kirill Shevchenko, has assured that the flow of cash to ATMs would not be limited, and non-cash payments were also not subject to restrictions. Ukrainian citizens have flooded the country’s ATMs in an attempt to withdraw their money as the conflict with Russia intensifies.

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