MOSCOW, February 28. /TASS/. Preparations to possible sanctions, including the tightest ones, were systemic in Russia for a long period of time, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.
"So far we have had no reasons to doubt the efficiency and reliability of the Central Bank, neither do we have any reason to doubt its efficiency now," he said when asked how the Kremlin estimates the actions of the Bank of Russia, including those related to the key rate increase.
Earlier on Monday, the Central Bank’s board of directors decided to increase the key rate by 10.5 percentage points to 20% per annum starting February 28.
"The Russian Federation systemically prepared to possible sanctions, including the tightest sanctions that we are facing now, for quite a long period of time. There are response plans, they have been readied, developed and they are being implemented now," Peskov said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation. The Russian leader stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories.
Western countries responded to the actions of the Russian authorities by slapping new sanctions on Moscow as they agreed to cut some of Russian banks off the SWIFT interbank payments system, as well as freeze the assets of the Central Bank of Russia. Large European countries and Canada closed their airspace for Russian aircraft.