Russian rouble stabilizes in early Moscow trade

The Russian currency has tanked since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, prompting severe economic sanctions from the West.

 Maxim Shemetov People walk past the Central Bank headquarters in Moscow, Russia February 11, 2019. (photo credit: MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS)
Maxim Shemetov People walk past the Central Bank headquarters in Moscow, Russia February 11, 2019.
(photo credit: MAXIM SHEMETOV/REUTERS)

The Russian rouble stabilized in early Moscow trade on Thursday, before the first talks between the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers since Russia invaded Ukraine two weeks ago.

At 7:34 GMT, the rouble was at 120.1 against the dollar RUBUTSTN=MCX, barely changed from Wednesday's 120.0 close. Against the euro it was around 0.8% weaker at 128.0 EURRUBTN=MCX.

The Russian currency has tanked since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, prompting severe economic sanctions from the West. On Wednesday it crossed 120 to the dollar for the first time in Moscow and reached a record low of 131 against the euro.

Top Russian and Ukrainian diplomats Sergei Lavrov and Dmytro Kuleba are due to meet in Turkey later in the day.

Kuleba has said his expectations of the talks are low, as Ukraine is seeking a ceasefire, liberation of its territories and to resolve all humanitarian issues.

 Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a video address announcing the start of the military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Moscow, Russia, in a still image taken from video footage released February 24, 2022. (credit: Russian Pool/Reuters TV via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS) Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a video address announcing the start of the military operation in eastern Ukraine, in Moscow, Russia, in a still image taken from video footage released February 24, 2022. (credit: Russian Pool/Reuters TV via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS)

Moscow demands that Kyiv takes a neutral position and drop aspirations of joining the NATO alliance, with a Russian negotiator saying late on Wednesday that Russia's delegation "will not concede a single negotiating point" in talks with Ukraine.

Stocks last traded in Moscow on Feb. 25 and on Thursday trading remained largely suspended by order of the central bank.

The central bank has also more than doubled its key interest rate to 20% in an emergency move and introduced capital controls to preserve precious foreign currency. The Kremlin on Wednesday put the United States on notice it was considering its response to a ban on Russian oil and energy.