The Kremlin-appointed head of the Crimean government, Sergei Aksyonov, has signed the main version of a draft law on the procedure for restructuring debt of the Crimeans on loans taken from Ukrainian banks prior to the annexation of the peninsula. Aksyonov reported this on Facebook on August 14.
"The bill will still be discussed and adjusted, but the main points will remain intact: legal entities and individuals that are in arrears of up to 5 million rubles ($83,478 USD)are completely exempted from its repayment. In addition, for the disabled of the second group, or those who find themselves dependents, on whom the loans are "hanging," a full write-off of debts is also envisaged," Aksyonov wrote.
According to Aksyonov, a procedure for settling debts that exceed 5 million rubles is also provided for. "If a person contributes 5% to repay the debt, he automatically deducts 20% of the total debt," he specified.
On July 19, 2017, the State Duma of Russia adopted in final reading a law that established the possibility to settle Crimean debts to Ukrainian banks without personal communication with the creditor, through the Russian Fund for the Protection of Investors.
Ukrainian experts note that the adopted law does not write off debt of Crimeans to Ukrainian banks.
Ukrainian banks left the Crimea immediately after the annexation, but Russian President Vladimir Putin advised Crimeans not to give away old loans. A Deposit Protection Fund was registered on the peninsula, which began to return deposits to customers of Ukrainian banks.
At the end of 2015, the Russian State Duma adopted a law under which Crimeans are also required to pay off Ukrainian loans.
According to experts, at the time of the annexation of Crimea, the total debt of Crimeans to Ukrainian banks was about two billion dollars.