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Bank for International Settlements suspends Bank of Russia

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The Bank for International Settlements, considered the central bank of central banks, said on Thursday it was suspending the Bank of Russia, deepening Moscow’s financial isolation over its war in Ukraine.

The Swiss-based international financial institution, which links central banks, said it was applying international sanctions on the Russian central bank.

“The BIS is following international sanctions against the central bank of Russia, as applicable, and will not be an avenue for sanctions to be circumvented,” a spokeswoman told AFP.

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“The access of the central bank of Russia to all BIS services, meetings and other BIS activities has been suspended.”

The Bank of Russia has taken unprecedented measures, including capital controls, to shore up the struggling economy and the ruble.

The central bank more than doubled its main policy rate to 20 percent last week as it sought to stop the hemorrhaging of the ruble, but to no avail.

The Russian currency has lost around 40 percent of its value since the start of the year.

In another sign of looming difficulties, the bank also asked lenders not to release their financial statements as of February.

Russia and Ukraine failed to make a breakthrough Thursday in their first top-level talks since Moscow’s invasion two weeks ago, amid international outrage over the bombing of a children’s hospital that Kyiv said killed three people, including a young girl.

Established in Basel in 1930, the BIS is owned by 63 central banks, representing countries that account for about 95 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).

The BIS is where central bankers gather to discuss major monetary policy issues.

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