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Lawmakers May Soften Travel Ban for Russian Debtors

Vedomosti

Lawmakers are set to reduce the number of Russians facing travel bans over unpaid debts, the Vedomosti newspaper reported Monday.

Russians with debts worth over 100,000 rubles ($1,570) for more than six months can be banned from leaving the country if a creditor makes a claim in court.

A new bill prepared by Russia's Justice Ministry would see that amount rise several times, Vedomosti reported.

One million Russians were banned from leaving the country as of Oct. 26, according to data from the country's Federal Bailiff Service.

The service maintains a debtors' database which helps authorities detain thousands of people a year as they pass through airports and railway stations.

The debts can consist of unpaid bank charges, alimony, community service payments, fines or taxes.

The number of Russians who saw their right to leave the country revoked spiked dramatically in 2015, as many struggled amid the country's economic crisis. Debtors banned from leaving the country in 2015 owed a total of 1.4 trillion rubles ($21.8 billion), the Izvestia newspaper reported.

Is a new Iron Curtain falling over Russia: Read more of travel bans under Russia's controversial new anti-terror laws.

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