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Who knows why he’s winking?!


THE DYNAMIC AND TURBULENT changes that Russia is experiencing are no more evident than when dealing with the money. Although Russia is no longer suffering the runaway inflation experienced throughout the nineties, the population in general has – not surprisingly – no faith in the ruble and so tends to rely on more stable currencies (with U.S. dollars and deutschemarks the most popular) in most financial dealings. Since 1994 rubles have been the only permitted currency (a shock to many Russians who had forgotten what the little rascals looked like) however you will still find many prices quoted in dollars, with payment in rubles at an arbitrary exchange rate.

Rubles come in various shapes, colors and degrees of authenticity. Currently there are large blue fives, green 10s, blue 50s, brown 100s, and pinkish 500s and coins of one, two and five rubles.

Value Added Tax Russia has VAT that is currently 20% tax on the cost of all goods and services. This tax is supposed to be included in prices but before making a major purchase it’s best to make sure lest you get a nasty surprise when it’s time to pay.

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