26 december 2009

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin

The meeting focused on bank deposits frozen in 1991.

Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Mr Kudrin, I have a question about one aspect of our work: those deposits frozen in 1991. A considerable volume of funds was frozen. We have certain commitments. What are we going to do this year?

Alexei Kudrin: Mr Prime Minister, every year the government works to boost the volume of funds allocated to settle the Sberbank accounts and the Rosgosstrakh personal insurance contracts frozen in 1991. Accordingly, every year we do what we can to increase this sum, to enable more categories of depositors to be partially reimbursed.

In 2009 a total of 70 billion roubles will be paid in deposit reimbursements. This year we will complete the first reimbursement package for all depositors, including all remaining unreimbursed deposits, at a rate of one to one on the amount of a frozen deposit.

In previous years, we paid 1,000 roubles for 1,000 roubles of the deposit. Then this reimbursement rate was raised to 2,000 roubles. Finally, several categories of depositors, primarily war veterans and other people in need, such as guardians and bereaved families, were all fully reimbursed at the rate of one to one. Therefore, the reimbursement amount equaled the deposit amount in present-day roubles.

This year we will finish paying reimbursements for all deposits to all depositors at the one-to-one rate. We have decided to go even further next year.

The government resolved, and this was approved by the State Duma, that everyone born before 1945, people aged 64 and over, will be reimbursed threefold. It means that one rouble in a deposit will equal three present-day roubles. Those younger than 64 will be reimbursed at a rate of two roubles for each one rouble in their deposits. The total volume of required funds amounts to 85 billion roubles, so we will spend more on it than in previous years. In our view, whether those reimbursed receive 1,000 roubles, 2,000 roubles or more, it will prove an indispensable support for them in the coming year. The government will certainly continue this reimbursement of depositors in coming years, and will move to a different reimbursement ratio.

Vladimir Putin: Mr Kudrin, it was not us who froze these deposits, but we are responsible for resolving this matter fairly today. I am asking you to allot planned funds in full next year to resolve this issue and develop a schedule for the 2011 and 2012 planning period, and subsequent years.

Alexei Kudrin: These funds have been budgeted for in our three-year financial forecast.