National Bank of the Republic of Belarus

Supersized Currency on Europe's Fringes Defies Big Banknote Clamor


As some major central banks debate the future of their high-denomination bills, a former Soviet republic stranded between Russia and the European Union is about to increase the value of its biggest banknote 25-fold.

The central bank in Belarus, which is preparing for its third currency overhaul by dropping four zeros off the ruble this year, will make a 500-ruble ($231) note the highest denomination. Currently, a bill of 200,000 rubles, equivalent to about $9, is the largest one. The new note will become the most valuable in eastern Europe and compares with neighboring Russia’s largest bill of 5,000 rubles ($65).

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