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Central Bank Holding Contest to Pick Ruble Symbol

Possible versions of the future ruble symbol.

The Central Bank is asking Russians to weigh in on selecting an official symbol for their national currency by voting in an online survey for one of the five proposed symbols for the ruble, according to the regulator's website.

Debates about outfitting the ruble with an official symbol have been going on for the past 20 years and flared up when the euro entered the market, complete with its own logo.

The financial regulator said on its website that it had reviewed thousands of suggestions for a possible ruble symbol offered by ordinary Russians and organizations and circulated on the Internet, and has selected five most popular versions.

Three of the signs are variations on a Latin letter "R," with a Russian "u" merged into its leg. Two others resemble a Russian letter "R," which looks like a Latin "P," with extra lines either across or along the leg.

The balloting will continue until Dec. 5, the bank said. Russians are asked to vote for one of the symbols and have the option of explaining their choice.

When President Vladimir Putin announced in 2006 that the ruble would become fully convertible, a range of possible emblems for the national currency was proposed and pollsters conducted surveys on national preferences, but no winner was selected.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank began circulating 25-ruble commemorative coins in honor of the Olympic torch on Tuesday. The coins are 2.7 centimeters in diameter and have a white surface with a torch on one side.

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