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23 Mar, 2022 21:20

Russian central bank says Bloomberg governor story is false

Bloomberg story claiming central bank governor barred from resigning is false – Moscow
Russian central bank says Bloomberg governor story is false

Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina did not attempt to resign over the Ukraine conflict, only to have her resignation personally rejected by President Vladimir Putin, the regulator said on Wednesday.

It emphasised that a story, to that effect, published by the American news agency Bloomberg was untrue.  Earlier, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had suggested that those curious inquire with Nabiullina herself.

The story cited four anonymous "sources," who claimed to have knowledge of the supposed discussions between Putin and Nabiullina, claiming the central banker had attempted to resign after the offensive in Ukraine began. She was allegedly spooked by a looming economic catastrophe, but was asked to remain in her post by the president.

Bloomberg admitted Nabiullina’s “current views couldn’t be learned,” adding that for her to leave now would be seen as a “betrayal” after nearly 20 years of working with Putin. She has not said anything publicly about her position, her appointment to another five-year term on Friday, or her opinion on the conflict, and has given no outward indication that she planned on leaving.

Nabiullina has urged the central bank’s staff to avoid politics, releasing a short video to colleagues earlier this month asking them to avoid “political debates” which “only burn our energy, which we need to do our jobs.” After the invasion and the multiple rounds of sanctions that followed, Nabiullina more than doubled the key interest rate and imposed capital controls to stop the flow of money out of Russia.

Bloomberg praised Nabiullina’s skills, crediting her with bringing inflation under control and amassing “one of the world’s biggest stockpiles of foreign currency and gold” – much of the latter has been impounded by the US-led West. She is also credited with fighting the same capital controls she recently imposed in Russia. These allow non-Russians to buy up Russian assets – such as oil and gas stocks whose value has plummeted in the wake of sanctions – and vice versa, permitting Russians to accumulate money in foreign markets.