Moscow Stock Exchange Shutters Again As Putin Destroys Russia


With a shut-down on Thursday, the closure of the Moscow stock exchange is now well into its second week amid a worldwide campaign of economic counter-measures designed to hold the Russian regime accountable for President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Russia has become the most-sanctioned country on the planet, even surpassing North Korea. As summarized by CNN ahead of what would have been Thursday’s trading, the ‘Russian Central Bank will not resume trading on the Moscow Stock Exchange on Thursday, March 10 in the stock market section, with the exception of “Redemption: Direct Orders” mode with settlements in rubles, the bank announced on its website on Wednesday.’ The Moscow stock market has been apparently largely closed since early last week.

One of the more recently announced economic measures targeting the Russian regime is a U.S. ban on Russian energy imports. Other countries on the side opposite Putin in this conflict announced that they would be drawing down their reliance on Russian energy, setting up further economic isolation of the country. The value of Russian currency has plummeted, Russia’s central bank has been sharply restricted from accessing its hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign currency reserves, and observers have warned that a Russian government default appeared imminent. As Fitch Ratings, a U.S-based credit ratings agency, observed: the “further ratcheting up of sanctions… and proposals that could limit trade in energy increase the probability of a policy response by Russia that includes at least selective nonpayment of its sovereign debt obligations.”

Other targets of economic actions against Russia have included financing for the country’s military and wealthy individuals with ties to the Putin regime. As President Joe Biden recently summarized it in the context of the U.S. ban on Russian energy imports, “Today, we remain united in our purpose: to keep pressure mounting on Putin and his war machine. This is a step that we’re taking to inflict further pain on Putin… Shipments of defensive weapons are arriving in Ukraine every day from the United States, and we, the United States, are the ones coordinating the delivery from our allies and partners of similar weapons — from Germany to Finland to the Netherlands… We are enforcing the most significant package of economic sanctions in history, and it’s causing significant damage to Russia’s economy.”

Outside the U.S., assets linked to wealthy Russian individuals have repeatedly been subjected to seizures by local governing authorities. A private jet connected to Russian billionaire Eugene Shvidler has been forcibly grounded by U.K. authorities after it apparently landed in that country last week; the grounding will allow officials in the U.K. to examine whether the aircraft is subject to prohibitions on Russian residents’ jets from entering the country.

Photo drawn from Wikimedia Commons