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Russia may refuse Ukraine to provide pension files of Ukrainians from the Crimea


Commented by Leonid Gilevich, lawyer, Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm
Source: Ekonomichna Pravda

Agencies of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation may refuse to provide pension files of Ukrainians living in the Crimea to their Ukrainian colleagues.

It was communicated to Ekonomichna Pravda by Leonid Gilevich, lawyer of Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm, when commenting on the approved by the Cabinet of Ministers procedure for payment of pensions and social benefits to the Ukrainian citizens, who live on the territory of the unrecognized Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol.

The lawyer noted that the agencies of the Pension Fund of Ukraine and the Russian Federation have long experience of transferring pension files to each other in connection with the relocation of retirees from Russia to Ukraine and vice versa.

In case of such relocation persons have an opportunity to get their pension file before moving to pass it to the appropriate agency at the new place of residence. They can also apply to the pension agency at the new place of residence for the latter to obtain a pension file on demand from another state at the pensioner’s former residence.

Gilevich further notes that demand of a pension file in accordance with the government-approved Procedure for payment of pensions and provision of social benefits to the Ukrainian citizens residing in the Crimea does not mean demand in connection with relocation of a pensioner from one state to another.

“On the contrary, we are talking about pension files in the territory, which status is disputable between Ukraine and Russia”, he emphasized.
In his opinion, this is particularly important considering the Agreement on guaranteeing pension rights of CIS citizens of March 13, 1992, which provides that pensions to the Crimean pensioners shall be paid by the state to the territory of which Crimea refers.

“So it is possible that the agencies of the RF Pension Fund will refuse to provide pension files to their Ukrainian colleagues with reference to the lack of justification for such a transfer”, said the lawyer.

He also adds that the question arises as to what Russian authorities requests for provision of files will be sent.

According to the Law of Ukraine “On securing citizens’ rights and freedoms and legal treatment of the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine”, any agencies their officials and officers in the temporarily occupied territory and their activities are considered illegal”.
Gilevich also suggests that some agreement on the procedure for payment of such pensions can still be reached at the intergovernmental or ministerial level.

He believes that adoption of such Procedure is a positive step in addressing the issue of payment of pensions and other social benefits to Ukrainian citizens residing in the Crimea.

It provides an opportunity to obtain pension at the place of residence and at the same time protects interests of Ukraine from fraudulent actions of those willing to receive certain payments from Ukraine, adds the lawyer.

“Meanwhile, it is impossible to predict how the new rules will work, considering many circumstances that do not depend on our government. We are talking about the possibility of obtaining pension files in the agencies of the Russian Federation, and the possibility of effective mail remittance to the Crimea from Ukraine”, comments Gilevich.

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