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Putin orders defence industry debt restructuring

30 January 2020
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Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree at the end of 2019 ordering the restructuring and writing-off of significant debts held by defence enterprises, a top banker has revealed.

Andrei Kostin, head of VTB, Russia’s second-largest state lender, told Russian national television in January that Putin met bankers and defence officials at the end of December to discuss the situation with mounting debt in the sector, which has been of growing concern to the government.

The decree is classified. It envisages “the active participation of the budget [i.e., use of state funds] and subsidised restructuring on the part of leading banks”, Kostin said.

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