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Russian Banks Raise Key Rates to 20% in Desperate Measure to Save Ruble

Russian banks have raised key rates to 20% in a bid to save the ruble as major countries cut off support to Moscow amid its invasion of Ukraine.

  • The Russian central bank raised its key interest rate to 20% from 9.5% on Monday in an emergency move. Authorities told export-focused companies to sell foreign currency as the ruble tumbled to record lows.

  • The ruble opened 40% lower against U.S. dollars on Monday. Russia's state-owned Sberbank is "failing or likely to fail," the European Central Bank said in a prepared statement.

  • Russia has also ordered companies to sell 80% of their foreign currencies, the central bank and the finance ministry said.

  • The key rate is the interest rate at which banks can borrow when they fall short of their required reserves.

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in tensions in Eastern Europe. Global markets slipped last week, and bitcoin plunged as much as 10% in a single day before a slight recovery over the week as the U.S. announced sanctions.

  • Meanwhile, Ukraine has raised over $10 million in cryptocurrency donations on an official address to help citizens caught in the crossfire.

UPDATE (Feb. 28, 12:27 UTC): Corrects headline to say "Russian Banks fixes key rates to 20%."