After yesterday’s announcement of Belarusian prime minister Mikhail Miasnikovich that Belarus will adjust exchange rates to the real value of ruble in the near future, prices went up and the Belarusians started to withdraw money from their bank accounts on a mass scale.
A dollar was worth today, 6.5-7.5 thousand rubles at the black market. On the interbank market the dollar sold for more than 8.5 thousand rubles. As a consequence of announcing up-coming devaluation, Belarusians formed queues in front of the ATM machines. Some banks have already introduced restrictions on money withdrawals. Bank Moscow-Minsk authorizes maximum withdrawal of 1 million rubles. “Unfortunately, the National Bank doesn‘t pay us, and we are forced to take such uncomfortable decisions for the customers” – Belsat correspondent was informed in one of the branches of the bank.
When asked by a Belsat journalists, Belarusian waiting in queues to cash machines, talked about the circulating rumors that soon all the banks will introduce limits on cash withdrawals, or even block the withdrawals of money in general. “We are afraid that the money will lose value, and that’s why people take cash from banks and try to invest in something.” – said a man waiting in queue for an ATM in Gomel.
The central bank, however, denied information about a cash shortage. ” There is no shortage of Belarusian rubles and sugar in storage” – said the bank’s spokesman Anatoly Drozdou.