The USD/RUB spot price is a representation of the number of Russian rubles that can be purchased for each US dollar.
By nominal gross domestic product, Russia is ranked as the tenth largest economy in the world and the ruble is the official currency of the Russian Federation, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Since the turn of the century, increased domestic consumption and relative political stability in the region has seen the value of the currency grow. Between 2000 and 2008, the average salary increased from $80 per month to as much as $640 per month and whereas 40 per cent of Russians lived in poverty in 1999, this figure had declined to 14 per cent in 2010.
The country's economic progress is largely driven by its exports and its key products are oil, natural gas, timber and precious metals. Furthermore, the country is the third-largest annual grain exporter, behind the US and European Union.
As a direct result of Russia's burgeoning oil market, the ruble has become increasingly popular for investors in recent years, with the volume traded up by 46 per cent annually in 2012, according to data from CME Group.
Another contributing factor has been the monetary policy adopted by the country's central bank since the global financial crisis of 2008. In addition to easing its interventionist stance, the bank widened the ruble's trading band against a two-currency US dollar and euro basket - encouraging more investors to take an interest in the currency.
In late 2012, the Central Bank of Russia issued the first rouble-denominated bonds as it looked to open up capital markets, further attracting traders to the currency.
With the US and Russia vying for the position of top global oil producer, it comes as no surprise this has a strong impact on the USD/RUB. Similarly, any tensions between Russia and the west are also likely to affect trading and should be monitored closely.