Russia’s new 100 rouble banknote is impossible to withdraw from ATMs because the Western companies that programmed the cash machines have quit the country.
The Association of Russian Banks has asked for a six-month delay to the introduction of the banknote, which carries a drawing of a Second World War memorial to Soviet soldiers, because bank machines require re-programming to dispense them.
“With the departure of suppliers, any updates to the software of... ATMs, as well as cash registers and terminals, have become impossible,” the Kommersant newspaper has quoted the association as saying.
The headache of how to get the new 100 rouble banknote, worth roughly €1.77, into circulation highlights how Western-imposed sanctions are affecting businesses in Russia. Around 60pc of bank machines in Russia were manufactured by Diebold Nixdorf using software installed by NCR.
Both Diebold Nixdorf and NCR are US companies that have suspended sales and services to Russia since president Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
Russia’s 100 rouble banknote was last updated in 2015 when the Russian Central Bank introduced a new design to commemorate the annexation of Crimea the year before. This banknote replaced a design that had been in circulation since the Nineties.
Unveiling the new banknote on Thursday, the Russian Central Bank said that new security features were needed but it may also have wanted a design that reflects the defiant mood of the country.
The Rzhev Memorial to the Soviet Soldier features on the new banknote. It was constructed in 2020 and is focused on a 82ft tall statue of a Soviet soldier, with a square jaw and steely eyes, erected on a 33ft grass mound.
On the other side of the banknote is a drawing of the Kremlin.
The Kremlin’s propaganda machine has been pumping out messages to ordinary Russians that the invasion of Ukraine was necessary to defend Russia from a growing Nazi threat. It regularly draws comparisons with the fight against Nazi Germany in the Second World War and its war in Ukraine. (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2022)
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