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Russia to redenominate ruble

August 4, 1997
Web posted at: 5:04 a.m. EDT (0904 GMT)

From Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty

MOSCOW (CNN) -- The Russian ruble is slimming down beginning January 1, 1998, President Boris Yeltsin announced Monday.

The new ruble will lose three zeroes; in other words, what used to cost 1,000 rubles will now cost one ruble, Yeltsin said.

The purpose was to avoid "stress and trouble," Yeltsin said. Currently, Russians must deal with unwieldy currency in which 1 million rubles equals only about $175.

Yeltsin said the old rubles will remain in circulation during 1998, along with new rubles. Old rubles can be exchanged for four years, until the end of 2002.

Yeltsin said no one will lose anything as a result of the reform.

"Nobody's interests will be trampled upon; the reform will not amount to confiscation," he said, noting that inflation is under control and prices are basically stable.

"That is why we made the decision to conduct the money reform," he said. "In doing so, we declare today there will be no more inflation. An end has been put to it. New zeroes will never again appear on our banknotes".

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