Tatiana Merzlyakov, commissioner for Human Rights in the Sverdlovsk region, said recently that the debt level for the area has now reached approximately $2,000 per person.
Merzlyakov said that estimate is lower than the actual figure because the statistics come through financial institutions that do not want to accept responsibility for their role in the region’s debt.
President Vladimir Putin recently encouraged Russians to avoid debt, but national debt levels have increased fourfold in just five years.
Individuals are not the only ones responsible.
Merzlyakov placed most of the blame for the debt on banks for their loaning systems. She encouraged banks to stop burdening people with high interest rates and to practice objectivity when evaluating borrowers. She said banks' eagerness for business is harming Russia, and they must stop withholding information from borrowers and stop participating in fraud.
While the debt level is not yet a crisis, it will reach one if individuals and financial institutions continue to do nothing.
Gov. Eugene Kuyvashev and Prime Minister Denis Pasler are reviewing Merzlyakov’s findings for consideration during the Council of Public Security and the Public Chamber meetings.