The NBU deems unacceptable the russian federation’s actions to limit the circulation of cash and cashless hryvnias and introduce the russian ruble in the territories of Ukraine that have temporarily been forcibly taken from under Ukraine’s control or been threatened to be so occupied. Those areas include Zaporizhzhia region and Kherson region.
The NBU has been alerted to this “initiative” by multiple reports from banks and the media. At the same time, such actions by the russian invaders would have been impossible without unlawful support and political will from the leadership of russia’s central bank.
In this regard, the NBU reiterates that under the Constitution of Ukraine, the only currency accepted as legal tender in Ukraine is the hryvnia.
The issuing and circulation in Ukraine of currencies other than the hryvnia are expressly prohibited by Ukrainian law, as is the use of money substitutes as a means of payment.
Ukraine’s banking system has the capability to provide all necessary services to the Ukrainian population, and the NBU and Ukrainian-based banks are fully capable of ensuring the circulation of the hryvnia, in accordance with Ukrainian legislation, in the areas temporarily occupied by russia.
The NBU therefore:
- considers it unacceptable for anyone to promote russia’s military aggression in this way, in particular by placing any restrictions on the circulation of Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia
- demands that the russian central bank immediately cease all actions it has been taking to put into circulation any other means of payment in the areas of Ukraine temporarily occupied by russia.
In addition, we emphasize that under Article 43 of the Regulations respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to the Hague Convention (IV) on Laws and Customs of War on Land, dated 18 October 1907, to which Ukraine and the russian federation are parties, the occupant “shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.”
The NBU declares that the activities of the Russian invaders to limit the circulation of cash and cashless hryvnias, as well as attempts to put into circulation the russian ruble, in the Ukrainian territories temporarily occupied by russia constitute a gross violation of international law.
By trying to circulate its currency there, russia is creating additional preconditions for a humanitarian crisis in the Ukrainian territories that are, for the time being, under russian control. The aggressor state must immediately stop all attempts to subject Ukrainians to these acts of financial terrorism.
The NBU has called on the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to take this information into account as it prepares to file lawsuits with relevant international courts.