Human Rights

District Court Upholds National Bank’s Discrimination

District Court Upholds National Bank’s Discrimination

Kyiv’s District Administrative Court dismissed all claims to recognize resolution 699 of the National Bank of Ukraine as discriminatory towards Crimeans.

Sergey Zayatz, a plaintiff and a lawyer, commented on this decision by saying that it will continue the discriminatory practices against those Crimeans who are still legally registered on the Crimean peninsula, reports Human Rights Information Center correspondent.

Among the plaintiffs are citizens of Ukraine with Crimean registration in their passports. The resolution of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has limited their ability to use basic banking services: open accounts, exchange foreign currency, make payments, etc.

According to Zayatz, NBU’s new resolution 810, which went into effect as soon as the judicial process began, did not eliminate the discriminatory situation that Crimeans are facing.

In particular, this refers to equating Ukrainian citizens with Crimean registration to "non-residents" and requiring them to bring additional paperwork to the bank in order to manage their own funds. At the same time, Ukrainian citizens registered on the mainland are not requested to bring those additional papers.

Even those Crimeans who have lived on the mainland of Ukraine for a long time but are still legally registered in Crimea, remain discriminated against. They do not fall under the legal category of "internally displaced persons" (IDPs), and therefore do not qualify for the aforementioned paperwork from the Bureau of Labor and Social Services.

In their defense, NBU’s representatives referred to the Ukrainian Law "On Establishment of the Free Economic Zone ‘Crimea’ and Special Aspects of Economic Activities on Temporarily Occupied Territory of Ukraine ," which their resolutions were allegedly based upon. The bank also claimed that it acted solely within its purview.

After the trial, Sergey Zayatz told the journalists that he would work on preparing an appeal along with other plaintiffs and would do everything possible to obtain a decision from the European Court of Human Rights. This case is being pursued by lawyers from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. "However, all this will take time ... Meanwhile, Crimeans have to live under discriminatory pressure," said Zayatz.