Putin denies rumours of rouble redenomination

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Moscow, Feb 14 (UNI) President Vladimir Putin today denied continuing rumours in Moscow that government was planning to redenominate rouble, the national currency.

''This is simply stupid. There's no economic necessity. It would bring nothing but harm to the country's economy,'' Putin said answering questions about reports that new banknotes have already been printed.

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

The rumours of an upcoming currency redenomination have been widely circulated on internet blogs recently, citing various sources.

Putin said Russia was becoming a global economic leader.

''We have restored the foundations of the Russian economy on an absolutely new market basis and we are confidently becoming an economic leader,'' he said at his last annual press conference.

The Russian leader said that over the past twenty years, very few countries like Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, partly Thailand and China have managed to achieve such results in the growth of their stock markets and assets as Russia has, and added that the country is confidently joining them.

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