Biden turned the ruble into rubble. Then it quickly came back.

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Finance & Tax

Some current and former Treasury officials, foreign exchange traders and sanctions experts say the ruble’s rebound doesn’t necessarily mean the West’s economic weapons are losing their punch.

People walk past a currency exchange office screen displaying the exchange rates of U.S. Dollar and Euro to Russian Rubles in Moscow’s downtown, Russia, Tuesday, March 29, 2022. | AP Photo

By Kate Davidson

03/31/2022 05:00 AM EDT

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A raft of punishing sanctions sent Russia’s currency crashing in the weeks after the invasion of Ukraine. Barely a month later, the ruble has staged a dramatic recovery — putting pressure on the Biden administration and its allies to deploy even tougher measures to undercut the Kremlin’s ability to finance the war.

The Russian currency, which was trading at about 84 rubles to the dollar on Feb. 23, the day before President Vladimir Putin launched the attack, had plunged roughly 70 percent by March 7. As of Wednesday, the ruble was nearly back to its prewar level. That’s partly because a surge in oil and gas prices — commodities that were explicitly carved out of the initial sanctions — has boosted Russia’s energy revenue.

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