April 15, 2022 4:14pm
Updated: April 15, 2022 11:16pm
Russia said Friday some of its foreign energy customers have agreed to begin making payments in rubles amid ongoing sanctions over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak did not disclose which customers have made the switch but said officials "expect the decision from other importers,” according to the Epoch Times.
Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded in early April that countries Moscow deems "unfriendly" pay for energy products in rubles, the news agency also reports.
The value of the ruble, Russia's base currency, plummeted on international markets after the start of the invasion and Western sanctions started impacting the country's economy. However, the ruble has since recovered most of its value.
Putin this week touted the ruble's recovery as an indicator of the Russian economy's resistance to sanctions, saying: "It is also obvious that the Russian economy is working quite stably and efficiently. I won't repeat everything. You can see it well yourself: The dollar exchange rate has returned to the parameters before the start of the operation, and so on."
On Feb. 23, 1 USD was equal to 79 rubles. On March 8, the exchange rate reached one dollar to 141 rubles. As of Friday, 80.75 rubles equaled 1 USD.