The long-elusive goal of a ruble that can be freely traded for foreign currency may be coming sooner rather than later. Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin may soon sign a decree that would peg the ruble to free-market exchange rates. On Nov. 4, the Soviet state bank increased the tourist rate from 32 to 47 rubles to the dollar. That brings the ruble closer to the 50-to-60 range it fetches on Moscow's black market. A 2-cent convertible ruble would be a major step toward bringing the Soviets into the world economy.

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