February 25, 2015 / 10:34 AM / 4 years ago

FACTBOX-Russia's ex-Soviet neighbours struggle to contain rouble fallout

(Adds Ukraine controls, Georgia interventions)

LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - The rouble’s precipitous decline over the past year is forcing many of Russia’s former Soviet trading partners into devaluations, while others are struggling to defend currencies from collapse.

The rouble has fallen 7 percent this year versus the dollar after shedding 43 percent in 2014, driven by lower oil prices, stagnating growth and Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in Ukraine.

Most ex-Soviet states are heavily reliant on Russia for trade, investment and remittances

Here is a list of moves by central banks across the former Soviet Union this year:

AZERBAIJAN - The oil exporter devalued the manat on Feb. 21 by 33.5 percent to the dollar and by 30 percent to the euro, just days after abandoning the manat’s dollar peg in favour of a dollar-euro basket.

MOLDOVA - The official rate of Moldova’s leu has fallen around 25 percent in 2015. The central bank raised interest rates by 500 basis points on Tuesday. UKRAINE - The central bank has steadily tightened currency controls to support the hryvnia which has fallen more than 40 percent since Feb. 5, when authorities abandoned dollar auctions and raised interest rates to 19.5 percent. On Feb. 25 the bank forbade banks to buy foreign exchange for clients, a day after it tightened importers’ access to hard currency.

TURKMENISTAN - Gas-rich Turkmenistan devalued the manat by around 19 percent to 3.5 to the dollar, effective from Jan. 1 BELARUS - The central bank devalued the Belarus rouble by 18 percent in a series of steps early in January. It has introduced compulsory foreign exchange sales for companies. ARMENIA - The central bank raised interest rates on Feb. 10 to 10.5 percent from 9.5 percent to support the dram which has fallen around 15 percent in the past year GEORGIA - The central bank sold $40 million on Feb. 25 to support the lari, its third dollar sale this month. The bank also raised interest rates this month by 50 basis points. The lari has fallen around 15 percent this year. KAZAKHSTAN - The tenge was devalued by 19 percent against the dollar last February and authorities have said they will not devalue again, though the currency has appreciated since then versus the rouble.

Compiled by Sujata Rao; Editing by John Stonestreet and Raissa Kasolowsky

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