Russian rouble strengthens briefly on incorrect U.S. sanctions report

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s rouble strengthened briefly against the dollar on Wednesday after U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton was incorrectly quoted as saying that Washington was not considering imposing additional sanctions on Russia.

The rouble strengthened 0.4 percent against the dollar after Russia’s Interfax news agency incorrectly reported Bolton as saying that the United States was not currently considering more sanctions.

The gains were erased however after Bolton’s office released a transcript of a news conference he gave in Azerbaijan which showed he had said that new sanctions on Russia were being considered, but that no decision had yet been made.

“On the potential for additional sanctions on Russia, we are still considering what we may be obligated to do under a statute related to chemical weapons attacks,” the transcript cited Bolton as saying.

“No decision has been made at this point, and I wouldn’t predict timing, whether it might be before the (U.S. mid-term)election or after the election. The decision-making is ongoing as we speak.”

At 1531 GMT, the rouble was down 0.05 percent against the dollar on the day.

Writing by Andrey Kuzmin/Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Heavens/Andrew Osborn