Modified banknotes with the denomination of 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 rubles are to be put into circulation by the central bank from August 16, the Bank of Russia's first deputy chairman Arnold Voilukov said at a press conference Wednesday. "Banknotes are now being delivered throughout the country to gain actual currency not earlier than in September," added Voikulov. He accounted for this delay by the fact that all regional banks have got a stock of old banknotes to be disposed of within a period of one to three months.
Voikulov explained that modified banknotes would be current on a par with the banknotes of the 1997 issue as long as the latter were not worn out. "No exchange of these banknotes is expected," said Voikulov.
Modified banknotes retain the basic compositional solution of the banknotes of the 1997 issue while the latest emission is aimed at enhancing their security complex which, in addition, facilitates authenticity control by the population.
Modified notes are distinguished for the availability of all the values of the margins on the face side which, when being bent, changes its one-toned field into multi-color impression (the iridescence effect), and for a "diving" metallic protective thread visible on the reverse side of a banknote in the shape of a dotted line of glittering rectangles.
Besides, banknotes with the values of 100, 500 and 1,000 rubles are supplied with a tiny digital figure of their denomination which is visible against light but hardly undermines the absolutely smooth surface of the banknote.
Experts have revealed, said Voikulov at the press conference, that banknotes' security secrets can be disclosed within five to seven years and therefore protective signs are recommended to be changed within these periods. Modified Russian banknotes' security is to surpass that of the U.S. dollars and not to be inferior to that of euros, according to Voikulov.
New notes are to be printed on paper made of pure cotton so as to prolong their service life by 50%-this will increase the cost of the manufacture of new banknotes in comparison with the old ones by 20%. "In general, however, the longer life span of the new banknotes promises even some saving," said Voikulov.
He also reported that the Central Bank did not plan to withdraw kopecks from circulation and that the issue of banknotes with the denomination of 5,000 rubles is planned for 2005.
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