* RTS crosses 1,400 points for first time since mid-January
* Rouble at multi-month high against euro, dollar
(Recasts to reflect new highs, adds comment)
By Alexander Winning
MOSCOW, June 24 Russian shares and the rouble
hit multi-month highs on Tuesday after President Vladimir Putin
asked the upper house of Russia's parliament to revoke the right
it had granted him to order a military intervention in Ukraine.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 2.4 percent
at 1,402 points at 1220 GMT, touching its highest since
mid-January. The rouble-based MICEX rose 1.3 percent to
1,505 points, reaching levels last seen in mid-February.
The rouble strengthened by 1 percent against the dollar to
33.78. It had earlier reached its strongest since January,
getting an extra boost from companies converting foreign
currency into roubles before they make monthly tax payments.
"(Putin's) move will calm down Western/Ukraine hawks
constantly calling for a threat of Russian invasion," Dmitry
Polevoy, the chief economist for Russia and CIS at ING Bank in
Moscow, wrote in a note.
"Even though it is difficult to say whether it was a
reaction to the remaining threat of extra sanctions ... or
simply a strategic play of Mr Putin, it further reduces the
probability of tail-risk scenarios in the Ukraine crisis."
On March 1, Russian lawmakers granted Putin the right to use
the country's army in Ukraine. Their move drew threats of
economic sanctions from the West and prompted a selloff in the
rouble and Russian assets.
Equities have since recouped their losses, after Western
sanctions turned out to be weaker than were first feared. But
the conflict with Ukraine still exerts a powerful influence over
the direction of Russia's stock market.
Shares were also supported on Tuesday by reports that
pro-Russian separatist leaders in Ukraine's east had agreed to
observe a ceasefire with Ukrainian forces, enabling peace talks
The rouble firmed by 0.83 percent against the euro to reach
46.02 and also touched a five-month high earlier. Besides the
softening stance on Ukraine, Russian exporters are converting
foreign currency into roubles to pay a mineral extraction tax on
The Russian currency was 0.92 percent firmer at 39.29
against the rouble-dollar basket the central bank uses
to guide the rouble's nominal exchange rate.
In corporate news, U.S. healthcare company Abbott
Laboratories said it had agreed to buy Russian drugmaker
Veropharm in a deal valued at up to $495
Veropharm's shares were up 35 percent on Monday's close in
For rouble poll data see
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Russia in graphics: link.reuters.com/dun63s
(Reporting by Alexander Winning and Jason Bush; Editing by