Russia's central bank on Wednesday launched another initiative to save the ruble, offering hard currency loans to help companies and banks service their debts. Containing the ruble crisis is Russian authorities' top priority. The ruble is the worst-performing currency in the world this year following the slide in oil and the sanctions imposed on Russia for its involvement in Ukraine. Stabilizing the ruble is behind the Central Bank's latest measure to accept foreign currency debt obligations as collateral against the loans. The hope is that it will provide relief to those who can't tap foreign capital markets to refinance loans because of Western sanctions. Other measures taken include last week's increase in the Central Bank's main interest rate to 17% in the hope that it makes holding rubles more attractive. And in a bid to boost hard currency offering at the markets, the government has encouraged major companies to sell more hard currency. On Tuesday, it officially told five of the biggest Russian state-controlled exporters to reduce their foreign currency holding and to not raise them again until March.