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Putin rejects rumors that zeros will be knocked off the ruble

February 14, 2008 | RIA Novosti

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday there are no plans to redenominate the national currency, despite rumors circulating in Russia.

Russia last recalibrated the ruble on January 1, 1998, removing three zeros from banknotes after the country's financial crisis caused the currency's value to plummet.

Asked at his last Kremlin news conference as Russian president to comment on reports that new banknotes have already been printed, he said: "They're lying, don't believe them."

When pressed on the issue, and asked whether he could guarantee that there would be no redenomination, Putin joked, adapting traditional Russian expressions: "Do you want me to eat earth from a flower pot and swear in blood?"

"This is simply stupid. There's no economic necessity. It would bring nothing but harm to the country's economy. Why?" he said.

The rumors of an upcoming currency redenomination were widely circulated on internet blogs late last year, citing various sources.

One U.S. dollar is currently worth 24.66 rubles.

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