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    People wait to exchange currency near a sign advertising currency exchange rates at an exchange office in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

    Senior Russian Diplomat Accuses US of Efforts to Cripple Russian Economy

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    Russian deputy Foreign Minister stated that Moscow has no doubts about the financial and economic bloc of the US administration was involved in deliberate and targeted efforts to create a difficult situation in the Russian economy.

    GENEVA, December 17 (Sputnik) — Moscow has no doubts about Washington's involvement in deliberate and targeted efforts to create a difficult situation in the Russian economy, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Wednesday.

    "We have pointed out on numerous occasions that US officials have commented with poorly hidden satisfaction on negative trends in various segments of the Russian market lately, including the currency market," Ryabkov told reporters in Geneva.

    "We have no doubts that Washington, the financial and economic bloc of the US administration, has deliberately and purposely took part in efforts to create difficulties for Russian economy," Ryabkov said.

    Earlier on Monday, the Russian Central Bank raised its key interest rates from 10.5 percent to 17 percent to stave off the worst collapse of the ruble since the 1998 Russian financial crisis.

    The rate increase failed to prevent the ruble from falling further against the dollar on Tuesday.

    The ruble has lost nearly half of its value since July. The fall of the ruble has paralleled a 45 percent drop in the price of oil since July.

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