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Leonid Bershidsky

Why the Ruble Fell as Oil Rose

The ruble dropped sharply today despite an uptick in the oil price.
The separation of church, state and oil.

The separation of church, state and oil.

Photographer: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr./Bloomberg

Both the Russian government and the broader markets have seized on the decline in oil prices to explain the rapid drop in the ruble's value. Yet it now appears that the actions of the Russian Central Bank and other financial institutions may be playing a more important role than oil.

Consider what happened today: Oil bounced back on news of supply disruptions in Libya, even as the the ruble plummeted, losing 2.8 percent of its value against the dollar: