According to the results of a poll conducted by an RBC correspondent, the majority of foreign exchange offices in Moscow have not begun operations with euros. The correspondent called 20 exchange offices that are located in various Moscow districts. A lot of them are listed in the RBC-maintained bulletin 'Online Market of Cash Currency in Moscow'. Only Sberbank's branches buy and sell the unified European currency. According to the Kievsky branch of Sberbank in Moscow, the buying rate in 26.4 rubles per euro, and the selling rate is 27.35 rubles per euro (plus the 1-percent tax on currency transactions in cash). As RBC got to know from Sberbank's press service, the bank began cash operations in euros on January 1, 2002. However, it does not exchange the retired currencies of those 12 European countries, which switched to euros. Sberbank accepts them for a further exchange at foreign banks. The remaining 19 foreign exchange offices that were polled by RBC today, have not started cash transactions in euros. The majority of them have not even fixed their bid and ask rates. The reason is the absence of euros at banks. Some of them hope to begin dealing in euros "after the New Year holidays," as they put it, whereas others were less optimistic and said they would commence operations in cash euros not earlier than in February.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea