(QHA) -

Crimeans should pay off their debts to Ukrainian banks despite now living under Russian law, a Russian central bank official was quoted as saying.

This comes amid the fact that all the Ukrainian banks that to used to operate in Crimea, hve suspended their work in the region after its unification with Russia.

Reuters reported last week that thousands of Crimeans were not paying their debts to Ukrainian banks, with many taking their cue from Russian President Vladimir Putin who in April told one resident wondering how to pay off a car loan: "Please use the car and don't worry."

Mikhail Sukhov, a deputy chairman at Russia's central bank, said on Monday Crimean residents' debts to Ukrainian banks would eventually have to be paid off.

"To pay or not to pay the loans is the responsibility of each person. But sooner or later they have to pay," Sukhov was quoted as saying by the Crimean news agency Novosti Krima during a visit to Crimea.

"As soon as working relations improve between Ukraine and Russia, a bank will be found to become an intermediary between borrower and lender and will undertake debt collection."