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Kremlin says desperate farmer writing letter to Putin had huge debt

July 30, 2015, 20:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Student and farmer Anastasia Dolgopolova threatening to burn her family’s sixty-hectare cornfield after failing to secure bank and government agency support for young farmers
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 Dmitry Peskov

Dmitry Peskov

© Sergey Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. The farmer from central Russian Kursk region, who appealed to the Russian president for help, was denied a banking loan because of a large debt, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday in reply to their morning request to look into the incident.

The Agriculture Ministry has probed into the incident upon a request from the Kremlin. "Things proved to be not exactly this way," Peskov said, commenting on a video address of Russian farmer from the Kursk region Anastasia Dolgopolova to President Putin.

It was found out that "her debts were running into astronomical figures," Peskov said. "Of course she was denied further crediting in line with all banking canons," he added, noting that the Agriculture Ministry was very swift in looking into the incident.

Student and farmer Anastasia Dolgopolova published an online video address to President Vladimir Putin, threatening to burn her family’s sixty-hectare cornfield after failing to secure bank and government agency support for young farmers.

"The harvesting campaign will start in some two weeks but I have no money and no strength for this," Dolgopolova said in her footage. "We’ve decided to burn this field." She said she had several times appealed to government agencies and banks, expecting support for young farmers.

"Unfortunately," deputy governor Alexei Zolotarev told TASS after visiting the farm, "Those we saw are, in fact, swindlers," adding that those involved had many debts.

"They have five lawsuits from five banks for over 1 million roubles ($16,700)," the official said. "Therefore, no one can give them loans," he added, noting that a criminal investigation was likely.

Meanwhile, the girl’s father, Sergey Dolgopolov, told TASS they had no choice but to burn the field. "The corn will slough anyway and we will not be able to sow anything on this field next year," he said.

But, said the deputy governor, "They have no corn, so there is nothing to burn". All 1,300 farms in the Kursk region were receiving support, he added.

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