MOSCOW - Russian Central Bank (CB) plans to modify some series of 10, 50, 100, 500 bank notes issued in 1997 as well as some of 1,000 bank notes that were issued later, effective from the second half of 2004. Five thousand ruble-bank notes are expected in circulation in 2005.
The plan to modify the notes is mostly motivated by CB’s decision to curb the burgeoning cases of forgery of the local bank notes in the country. According to CB’s latest data, over 100 million rubles of 1.239 trillion rubles in circulation are fake, with the most frequently forged ones being 500- and 100-bank notes.
Addressing the issue at a press conference earlier this week, CB First Deputy Chairman Arnold Voilukov specifically noted that the planned-modification program does envisage totally changing currency notes, but designed mainly to help upgrade their security- and other anti-counterfeit measures in the new, modified variants. “In the first place, new protective signs, such as micro-perforations and light-reflecting lines, which will be more easily noticeable than those on the current notes, will be introduced in the modified notes to protect citizens,” he said.
Voilukov also noted that more invisible features, detectable and/or recognizable only by special equipment and/or by specially trained experts, will be added to help thwart any counterfeiting attempts.
And, lastly, the new, modified bank notes will be printed on a totally different paper of a higher quality, which will help prolong their durability in general circulation. At present, most notes last for 5-7 years in circulation, during which counterfeiters also master how to forge them. So, after this period, it becomes imperative to modify them, he added. “The new features envisaged for the modified bank notes will also reduce the frequency of renewing them, facilitate their distribution across the country, which, consequently, will lead to a drastic reduction in expenditures,” he noted.