1. Spending Measures (Budget Allocations)
The Russian Government has created an “anti-crisis” fund of 300 billion rubles ($4.06 billion as of March 16) to support the Russian economy and compensate quarantined citizens.
2. Tax Measures (Deferral of Payroll Tax Obligations, Extensions of Tax Filing Deadlines)
Tax payment deadlines for small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) and heavily affected industries, such as tourism and transportation, have been extended by a quarter. Tourism companies will additionally not have to pay contributions to the tourist sector reserve funds. Onsight checks by taxation authorities have been suspended, as well as import duties on socially important goods.
3. Subsidies to Preserve Jobs, Employee Benefits, Food Assistance
Compensation to medical staff and health and safety inspectors has been increased. Individuals under quarantine are to receive sick leave benefits. Federal budget will guarantee unemployment benefits paid by regional governments.
4. Public Loan Guarantees and Expansion of Loans to Businesses
The Russian Government has agreed to subsidize and guarantee loans for SMEs, retailers, and distributors. There are also 3-month grace periods for SME payments of social contributions and rents.
5. Student Loan Relief
6. Insolvency Law Relief
The Russian Prime Minister has instructed the state bodies to institute a moratorium (until May 1) upon any bankruptcy petitions in relation to their debtors. The moratorium is only effective as to certain legal entities (as determined by the Russian Government). Existing bankruptcy proceedings are also stayed for the period of moratorium and any financial sanctions (such as fines, penalties) will not accrue.
The Prime Minister additionally requested that the Russian Government facilitate a review of another bill aimed at streamlining the existing restructuring procedures in Russia.
1. Reduction of Interest Rates
Policy rates remain unchanged other than the rates on the existing facility for SME lending, which have been reduced. Additionally, on March 19, the Central Bank of Russia (“CBR”) started selling foreign exchange reserves from the National Welfare Fund and increased the limits on its foreign exchange swap operations.
2. Expansion of Central Bank’s Holdings of Government Bonds
No plans for monetary expansion announced.
3. Other Measures to Support Flow of Credit
The Russian Government introduced a temporary regulatory easing for banks intended to help the most affected industries, such as tourism and transportation. Banks have been allowed not to worsen the credit classification of SMEs and value securities at their price from March 1. The CBR has introduced a new 500-billion-ruble facility for SME lending and reduced the interest rate on the existing facility.
4. Suspension of Foreclosures/Evictions
5. Reductions/Suspensions of Mortgage Payments
6. Asset Purchases (Liquidity Facilities, Purchase of Private and Public Sector Securities, Acquiring Equity of Larger Affected Companies)
Those affected by the virus have been allowed to restructure bank loans and obtain a reduction of risk weights on mortgages so long as banks’ regulatory requirements are not impacted.
7. Exchange Rate Adjustments
No measures beyond foreign exchange reserve sales.
1. Social Distancing
Authorities started preemptive containment since end of December and moved to progressive border closures with China and certain European countries. Effective March 30, 2020, Russia’s land borders to passenger transport are closed indefinitely. Commercial flights have been severely curtailed or cancelled. All foreign nationals (with a few exceptions) are banned from entry until May 1. The Russian Government declared March 28 through April 5 a holiday for all Russians to slow the spread of COVID-19
2. Closure of Public Places for Gathering
Public spaces such as theaters, sports facilities and all businesses except for grocery stores and pharmacies are closed in Moscow and other cities.
3. Closure of Non-Essential Businesses
4. School Closures
In Moscow, all public schools are closed through April 12, 2020.
The Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being (“Rospotrebnadzor”) has transferred test systems and diagnostic tools developed by the Federal State Budgetary Institution Scientific Research Center of the World Bank for detection of COVID-19 to 13 countries, including member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Commonwealth of the Independent States, Iran, and Mongolia. Delivery to Egypt, Serbia and Venezuela is expected.