Standard & Poor's announced Tuesday that it is considering a downgrade to Russia's credit rating due to its economic troubles and a weakening financial system.
The ratings agency put Russia on credit watch "negative" due to "what we view as a rapid deterioration of Russia's monetary flexibility and the impact of the weakening economy on its financial system."
Russia's foreign-currency sovereign rating is currently BBB-, the lowest notch of investment grade. Tuesday's review means there is at least a 50 percent chance of a downgrade, S&P said.
S&P plans to complete its review by mid-January.
Russia's ruble fell decisively last week, spurring the country's central bank to sharply raise interest rates.
After touching record lows last week the currency has rebounded, which analysts explain by Russian export giants intervening in the market alongside the central bank and finance ministry.
In afternoon trading on Tuesday the ruble stood at 54.69 to the dollar, far off the record of over 80 to the greenback it hit last week.