Speed Reads

eyes on russia

Russia just raised its interest rate to 17 percent

Russia's central bank raised the benchmark interest rate to 17 percent, from 10.5 percent, effective Monday. That's the largest rate increase since the nation's 1998 default, Bloomberg News reports.

"This decision is aimed at limiting substantially increased ruble depreciation risks and inflation risks," the bank's statement said.

Russia's economy has been struggling for a number of reasons. In March, the U.S. and its allies imposed sanctions on Russia when President Vladimir Putin annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. But perhaps the biggest blow has come from a historic drop in oil prices, which has badly hurt the energy-dependent economy. Largely as a result, the ruble's value has dropped 49 percent this year.