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Mezhtopenergobank. Photo courtesy of Alexei Zotovo/Kommersant & RBC

I love the names of Russian banks, nearly all of them fronts for the global machinations of the Kremlin, its oligarchs, and their minions.

“Mezhtopenergobank (rated among the country’s top hundred banks in terms of assets) has admitted it lacks liquidity. The difficulties arose because ‘negative information about the bank’s financial state’ had been making the rounds.”

Source: RBC Facebook News Feed

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July 2, 2017

Mezhtopenergobank PJSC reports difficulties in completing transactions due to lack of available liquidity

Mezhtopenergobank PJSC, a commercial interregional fuel and energy bank, reports difficulties in completing transactions due to a lack of available liquidity.

The bank’s financial condition has become less stable due to a number of factors caused by negative market conditions, in particular, in the construction sector. A reduction in profits and an increase in the volume of overdue debts have also resulted from the refusal of major borrowers to fulfill their obligations.  In addition to the need to generate significant reserves for problem loans, as required by the supervising authority, the postponement of the scheduled refinancing of a number of client projects and the revision and tightening of the repayment schedule by the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank (SME Bank) have also been negative factors in the bank’s business.

Despite the worsening of a number of financial indicators, the bank was fulfilling client requests in a timely manner, maintaining liquidity at the required level, until last week. The bank’s operations also continued to generate a stable income.

The rapid loss of liquidity was triggered by the vigorous dissemination of negative information about the bank’s financial condition, which resulted in a sharp increase in the number of client withdrawal requests. Consequently, the load on information systems increased. They could not handle the critical volume of requests, which led to failures and affected the speed and possibility of completing transactions. Nevertheless, until July 2, the bank continued to perform transactions at its offices, via remote banking, and through ATMs.

The bank reminds its clients that all funds in accounts are fully accounted for in the bank’s information systems, balance sheets, and mandatory registers, despite the fact that the ability to dispose of these funds is currently impeded. Mezhtopenergobank PJSC is a participant of the Deposit Insurance System and has insured all funds in the accounts, cards, and deposits of private individuals and individual entrepreneurs in the amounts stipulated by law.

We would also remind borrowers and co-signatories that all payments under current obligations to the bank will be received and processed as usual, and must be sent to Mezhtopenergobank PJSC by the due dates, as stipulated in agreements.

Remote client services are operating in informational mode. Clients will have full access to bank account balances, transaction records, and electronic statements.

Customers and co-signatories will be informed about further actions as additional information becomes available.


Translated by the Russian Reader

Grassroots Recycling as a Threat to Russian National Security and International Football


Football fans! You might want to know that this past Saturday, the monthly neighborhood collections of recyclables, organized by the Razdelnyi Sbor environmental movement, an entirely volunteer-run organization, were cancelled, apparently by the police or higher powers, in four of Petersburg’s districts (Central, Admiralty, Krasnoye Selo, and Kalinin), allegedly, because they were a “security threat” to the ongoing FIFA Confederations Cup.

Ironically, this same grassroots movement, which poses such a (non-)threat to national security in neighborhoods many kilometers away from the brand-new stadium on Krestovsky Island where some of the cup’s matches are being played, including the final—a stadium that was built at the cost of unbelievable cost overruns (i.e., kickbacks) and completion delays, precarious migrant labor (including slave laborers shipped in from North Korea, one of whom was killed in an accident on the site), and the demolition of the old Kirov Stadium, a nationally listed architectural landmark designed by the great constructivist architect Alexander Nikolsky—made a deal with cup organizers and FIFA to collect and process recyclable waste at the stadium after matches.

Meaning that, at the stadium itself, this same grassroots movement was seen not as a threat, but as a cynical means of showing fans that FIFA and the Russian government were all about “international best practices.”

This is a ridiculous, telltale story that someone other than lowly unread me and my crap blog should be reporting.

By the way, under normal circumstances, readers of my Facebook news feed would have got a message from Razdelnyi Sbor about Saturday’s collection points, a message I cut and paste and disseminate faithfully every month, because I want everyone I know to go the one-day collection points in their neighborhood with their recyclables, and because my partner and I go to our neighborhood spot in the Central District every month ourselves.

Last year, I even bought a Razdelnyi Sbor t-shirt, to support the cause and occasionally serve as a living, breathing, walking, talking advertisement for it.

I guess I’ll have to think hard about whether I want to wear the t-shirt again. I don’t understand how you can serve the authorities at their Big Event while letting down the ordinary people who support you in their neighborhoods with their volunteer labor and their recycling month in and month out.

A friend of mine was arguing on Facebook just yesterday that VK, the homegrown Russian social media where Razdelnyi Sbor has its community page, was where it was at, as opposed to snobby Facebook. But in the relevant recent posts on Razdelnyi Sbor’s VK page about the cancelled collections you won’t find word one criticizing the authorities for acting in such a brutal, stupid way towards a completely beneficial grassroots campaign. I would imagine the page’s moderators hastily scrubbed any such complaints, if there were any. I’m sure there were some.

This is the real Russia, about which I almost never read anything in the western media and, sometimes, in the Russian media, either. It’s a country where recycling enthusiasts (just like cycling enthusiasts, for that matter) are imagined as a threat to national security and as “agents of the west,” except in the one instance where they can make the authoritarian state’s Big Event seem more PC to foreign football fans, dishing out big euros for tickets, merchandise, food and drinks, and rooms. TRR

A huge thanks to Comrade Darya A. for the heads-up. Photo courtesy of Razdelnyi Sbor’s website

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