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The National Bank Aggravates the Situation of the Crimeans and Establishes Extra Obligations for Them

Human rights activists claim that the attempt of National Bank to remedy the situation with discrimination of the Crimeans has resulted in new restrictions of their rights and established extra obligations. Furthermore, from now on banks are permitted to block and close not only corporate accounts but accounts of individual entrepreneurs as well.   

Recently the National Bank of Ukraine has publicly reported on the settlement of the situation with discrimination of the Crimeans arising from the resolution No. 699. However the experts who had familiarized with the document have discovered a number of new unpleasant surprises. And the first one of them is “non-residents stay”. This means that discrimination standards (different attitudes towards a group of people based on the place of residence registration) are still in force.  Practically all of the people holding a residence registration in Crimea have been put on the wrong side of the law.

Daria Sviridova, the expert of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, believes that by one’s actions the National Bank of Ukraine has confirmed that the Crimeans are not Ukrainian citizens. And to refute this fact they are to take certain actions. And only having done so will they be considered Ukrainians again.

Even those who obtained the “migrant’s certificate” and are no longer considered non-residents, have to confirm this fact once per six months which requires standing in a huge line.

Banks have also been permitted to block and close the bank accounts of individual entrepreneurs and self-employed persons. At this the National Bank has finally remembered that those were the holders of accounts and not the banks who owned the funds deposited in these accounts. Thus, upon the closure funds are to be reimbursed to their owners. But there is one catch. The National Bank’s resolution makes it impossible to open another account

“One could compare the actions of the National Bank to the way Kadyrov reacted to the events in Grozny. Practically the National Bank has introduced corporative responsibility of the Crimeans for ill acts or even ill intentions of their light-fingered fellow countrymen”, Serhii Zayets, the expert of the Regional Human Rights Centre, notes.

Human rights activists call the National Bank of Ukraine for a dialogue and suggest on the formation of a work team to seek acceptable ways of settling the issues Ukraine is now facing.  They suggest that such team includes the representatives of all the human rights organizations dealing with problems of the Crimeans.

Experts draw the attention of the National Bank of Ukraine to the fact that the easiest way is not always the right one. Sometimes it is possible to find an efficient solution that would not only ensure the resolution of the state security tasks but would also guarantee the respect for human rights only through a hard dialogue.

The event is held thanks to the generous support of the American people provided through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) within the framework of the “Human Rights at Work” project. The contents of the publication do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the USAID or the government of the United States of America. The American people has provided economic and humanitarian aid through the USAID for over 50 years. In Ukraine the aid of the USAID has been given in such fields, as economic development, democracy and social sector. Starting with 1992, the United States Agency of International Development has provided Ukraine with technical and humanitarian aid worth USD 1.8 billion. For more information on the programs of the USAID in Ukraine see the official USAID web-site http://ukraine.usaid.gov or the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/USAIDUkraine.

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