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Thread: Transfer money out of Russia

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Moscow Region
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    Transfer money out of Russia

    Has anyone solved this problem?
    It looks like you can take out USD 10,000.00 in cash - assuming you can find the dollars.

    I don't know if you can still do a bank transfer outside of SWIFT? But again either the 10,000 limit will apply or you will have problems with a UK (in my case) bank not accepting roubles. Plus I don't know if special limits apply to non-residents.

    One option seems to be to take out large amounts of roubles in cash. Though here my problem seems to be that no one in the UK will buy roubles

    Any ideas/experience?

    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Dinskaya, Krasnodarskiy Kray, Russia
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    My ten cents worth:

    This is the latest (01 August 2022) statement from the Central Bank of Russia on cash withdrawals:

    "People who have not yet made any foreign cash withdrawals since 9 March 2022 may only withdraw the money in foreign currency credited to the account or deposited until 9 March 2022. As before, the remaining funds can be withdrawn in rubles at the exchange rate as of the withdrawal date. Foreign cash can be withdrawn in US dollars or euros, regardless of the currency of an account or deposit.

    "The Bank of Russia has to preserve the said and other foreign cash restrictions due to the sanctions enacted against Russia that prohibit Russian financial institutions from purchasing western countries’ cash.

    "The limits on foreign currency purchases remain effective until 9 March 2023: people may only buy the euros and US dollars received by banks’ cash offices after 9 April 2022.

    "There are no restrictions on sales of other foreign currencies.

    "Additionally, the Bank of Russia has extended the restrictions for resident legal entities for another six months, from 9 September 2022 to 9 March 2023: the amount of foreign cash received to cover business trip expenses may not exceed 5,000 US dollars or an equivalent in euros, British pounds, or Japanese yen. These requirements are not applicable to other foreign currencies. Non-resident legal entities may not withdraw cash in US dollars, euros, British pounds, or Japanese yen; there are no restrictions for other foreign currencies."


    You should also refer to their statement (30 June 2022) on transfers:

    "Since 1 July 2022, individuals — Russian residents may transfer no more than 1 million US dollars or an equivalent amount in another foreign currency during one calendar month from their accounts with a Russian bank to their foreign accounts or to another individual abroad.

    "The same limit has been set for transfers made by individuals — residents of friendly states.

    "Previously, these transactions were limited to 150,000 US dollars. The limits on money transfers have been raised owing to a stable situation in the domestic foreign exchange market."


    My thoughts on these rulings:
    1) You could only withdraw sterling if you had paid in sterling. If you had paid into your Russian bank account only roubles, I’m not convinced you could withdraw sterling.
    2) Leaving Russia with more than $10000 equivalent in cash, you would be expected to declare it and be able to prove where it came from. In most cases, this would be the copy of the declaration made when the money came into Russia in the first place.
    3) Since most Russian banks are under sanctions and cut off from Swift, sending sterling by bank transfer to a UK bank would be difficult, if not impossible, unless you have an account with a non-sancitoned entity. For example, I don’t think that Raiffeisen has been cut off from Swift and should be able to transfer funds to a UK bank, probably via its Austrian branch.
    4) I thought (but am not sure) that transfers to a foreign bank could only be made with supporting documentation and, in the case of a transfer to an account of the Russian resident, if that account had already been declared to the Federal Tax authorities.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Moscow Region
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    Thanks BigBear for this comprehensive reply. Yes - there are multiple sticking points - not least that I am non-resident which makes things even harder.

    I am wondering if buying some intermediary currency (say Kazakh) which I could then change in the UK might be the way out of this. Or maybe Raiffeisen bank like you say. Thanks again.
    Last edited by JustinWyllie; 04-08-2022 at 18:47.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    Raiffeisen will do it. But you must be a client of Raiffeisen. And obvious they do things by the book. so you need proof where the money came from, 200% proof. Winning at Lotto and not having a ticket will just not do. And dont forget to ask about the exchange rate and other charges BEFOREHAND...
    There is no greater treasure then pleasure....

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