The ruble plummeted in early Friday trading on the currency exchange market in Moscow over the threat of possible new western sanctions because of the situation in Ukraine, dipping to 37 rubles to the dollar, according to Moscow Exchange statistics.

As of 10:22 a.m. Moscow time (06:22 GMT), the ruble dropped by 26 kopeks to 37.01 to the dollar. The exchange rate for the euro also dropped to 48.72 rubles to the euro.

US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel believe that the United States and the European Union need to look at possibly introducing wider sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine, the White House said Friday.

In a telephone conversation, the leaders expressed concern with reports on the crisis in Ukraine and both agreed that given recent developments, the United Stated and the European Union should consider additional sanctions against Russia, the statement said.

The United States, the European Union and some other Western countries imposed a round of sanctions after Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March.

As the Ukrainian crisis escalated, the United States pressed for its Western allies to follow its lead, and Norway, Canada, Australia and Japan subsequently drew up their own blacklists. Several other rounds of sanctions against Russia have followed since.

Moscow has repeatedly said that the sanctions will have a boomerang effect and will negatively affect the economies of the countries imposing them.

In August, Russia banned the import of agricultural and food products from countries that had imposed sanctions on Russia, believing that they had unjustifiably blamed Moscow for meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs.


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