Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his annual Q&A Thursday morning, and as he started to speak, the ruble started to slide against the dollar.
Putin said that he expected Western sanctions placed on Russia to continue, but that worst was over for the Russian economy. After breaking in half last year, the ruble is up 20% in 2015, making it the world’s top performing currency.
“The ruble has stabilised and strengthened,” Putin said during his annual phone-in with Russians.
He also added that Russia was not Iran, and that sanctions would not impact the two countries the same way.
“Experts believe that we have passed the peak of the problems,” Putin said.
Experts also believe, however, that hundreds of Russian banks are at risk of closing down or consolidating as sanctions continue to put pressure on the economy. Bad loans could climb from 9.5% to 15% of loans on bank balance sheets, according to a report by Bloomberg.