Grozny. Chechnya. Photo by Magomed Magomedov for the "Caucasian Knot"

21 January 2019, 23:59

News of writing off gas debts causes distrust among residents of Chechnya

The authorities of Chechnya use all the methods of influencing debtors to pay utility bills; and the writing off of the multibillion-rouble debts for gas contrary to these methods is unlikely to affect ordinary people, residents of the republic said. Chechen lawyers also think it unlikely that the republic's gas debts will be written off.

The massive demands of the gas industry officials to pay the debt "created tensions in the society and could lead to protests," the Prosecutor's Office has stated.

Residents of Chechnya have perceived the news about a possible writing-off the gas debts with disbelief.

The gas debts of 9 billion roubles could arise from the operation of underground oil and brick factories, Malika, an activist, has suggested.

Three thousand low-income residents of Chechnya received help from the authorities on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan in the form of pardoning their debts for electricity, the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, announced last June, not specifying the debt amount. The principle of defining those in need was unclear, residents of Chechnya have noted.

Kadyrov got another chance to increase his popularity in Chechnya, Svetlana Gannushkina, a rights defender, and Alexei Malashenko, a political analyst, have suggested.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that raids are systematically carried out in Chechnya with the aim to collect debts on utility services. In January this year, residents of Grozny, who have debts in paying utility bills, received anonymous notifications about seizure of their housing facilities.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 21, 2019 at 06:40 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Inna Kukudjanova; Source: CK correspondent

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