Tag Archives: Supreme Council of Crimea

Russian ruble becomes Crimea’s second official currency

The Crimean parliament has announced the Russian ruble will become the second official currency of Crimea and will be circulating alongside the hryvnia until it is withdrawn in 2016.

The decision marks the first step in the peninsula’s economic integration with Russia, after Crimea’s citizens overwhelmingly voted for joining Russia in Sunday’s referendum.

“The official currency unit of the Republic of Crimea is the Russian ruble, and until January 1, 2016, the Ukrainian hryvnia would be also the official currency,” the parliament’s official website says.

The parliament has also approved the temporary statute on the Bank of Crimea. “The organization of money circulation and withdrawing them (hryvnia) from circulation on the territory of the Republic of Crimea would be made exclusively by the Bank of Crimea,” the resolution reads. “The Bank of Crimea without any fees performs transactions with budget funds of the Republic of Crimea, as well as transactions regarding public debt management of the Republic of Crimea.”

The key goal of the Bank of Crimea is to provide stable currency circulation, “development and strengthening of the banking system, providing effective and faultless operation of the payment system,” the resolution adds.

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) will be largely assisting the introduction of the ruble in Crimea, the Izvestia newspaper quotes sources in the CBR. It’ll fix all the technical issues to have the ruble circulating in Crimea within a week. Mobile cash processing centers are ready to be delivered to Crimea, the paper added. The centers would allay threats from for Kiev that grants to the newly independent republic would be cut. The cash centers will provide humanitarian aid in rubles, pensions, grants, as well as effect non-cash payments, which will effectively turn them into local treasuries.

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Crimean parliament formally applies to join Russia

Pro-Russian Crimeans celebrate in Sevastopol on March 16, 2014 after partial votes showed that about 95.5 percent of voters in Ukraine’s Crimea region supported union with Russia.

Crimea declares independence, seeks UN recognition

The Republic of Crimea has addressed the UN seeking recognition as a sovereign state and called on Russia to integrate it into the Russian Federation. 96.77 percent of the Crimean population voted ‘for’ the integration in a referendum.

“The Republic of Crimea intends to build its relations with other states on the basis of equality, peace, mutual neighborly cooperation, and other generally agreed principles of political, economic and cultural cooperation between states,” the legislation says.

Crimea was declared an independent sovereign state, the Republic of Crimea, on Monday, the autonomous Ukrainian regional parliament’s website stated. The Supreme Council of Crimea unanimously voted to integrate of the region into Russia.

Ukrainian military units on Crimean territory are to be disbanded, with the military personnel allowed to stay and live on the peninsula, Interfax reported Crimean Supreme Council chairman Vladimir Konstantinov as saying.

“Those who, according to their beliefs, don’t accept the Crimean independence and stay true to the Ukrainian state won’t be persecuted,” the head of Crimea’s parliament Vladimir Konstantinov said, as quoted by ITAR-TASS. He added that the same principle will apply to government employees and security workers who took the oath of allegiance to Ukraine.

His comments came after more than 500 troops left Sevastopol to register at temporary checkpoints.

Pro-Russian Crimeans celebrate in Sevastopol on March 16, 2014 after partial showed that about 95.5 percent of voters in Ukraine’s Crimea region supported union with Russia.

The Crimean Parliament also ruled that Ukrainian state property in the peninsula will become the property of the Republic of Crimea, Kryminform news agency reported.

The Crimean Parliament will remain the supreme legislative body of the republic until September 2015, or until a decision is made to integrate Crimea into the Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s coup-imposed President Aleksandr Turchinov called the referendum “a great farce,” saying it will never be recognized either by Ukraine or by the civilized world,” AFP reported.

It’s after the announcement of the official results: 96.77 percent of the Crimean population has voted ‘for’ integration of the region into the Russian Federation. The turnout was 83.1 per cent.

The referendum saw a massive turnout, with 81.3 percent of the eligible voting population participating, the head of the Crimean parliament’s commission on the referendum, Mikhail Malyshev, said.

There were 1,233,002 votes ‘for’ integration, with the total number of those who voted standing at 1,274,096 people.

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The referendum commission has not received any complaints, Malyshev stressed.

On Sunday evening, in Simferopol, the capital of the republic, at least 15,000 people have gathered to celebrate the referendum’s results in the central Lenin square, waving Russian and Crimean flags.

Next week, Crimea will officially introduce the ruble as a second official currency along with Ukrainian hryvna, Crimea’s Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov told Interfax. The dual currency is to be established in about six months.

Overall, the republic’s integration into Russia will take up to a year, the premier said. However, it wants to maintain relations with “economic entities, including Ukraine,” rather than burn bridges.

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Putin defends Crimean referendum legitimacy to EU leaders as Ukraine’s southeast rallies

Pro-Russian demonstrators attend a rally in Donetsk March 9, 2014.

Crimea’s upcoming referendum will reflect the legitimate interests of its people, Russian President Vladimir Putin told two EU leaders over the phone. Inspired by Crimea’s actions, eastern Ukraine is also protesting the coup-imposed government in Kiev.

Putin on Sunday had a top-level conversation on the situation in Ukraine with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister David Cameron, according to a statement issued by the Kremlin press service.

The Russian president “underlined in particular that the steps taken by Crimea’s legitimate authorities are based on international law and aimed at guaranteeing the legitimate interests of the peninsula’s population,” the statement said.

The “lack of any action” on part of the current Kiev authorities with regard to ultra-nationalists and radical forces acting in Ukraine has particularly been noted by Putin.

While Putin reminded that the power in Kiev was seized in an unconstitutional armed coup, Merkel stressed that, according to Europe’s view, the Crimean referendum violates the Ukrainian constitution and international law.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron (L-R) sit to watch a fragment of the ballet “Ruslan and Lyudmila” during the G20 Summit in Peterhof near St. Petersburg September 6, 2013.

The German Chancellor also “pointed out the urgency of finally coming to a substantial result” on the issue of forming the “international contact group” on Ukraine, Reuters reported.

Despite the difference of opinions, the sides have agreed that the de-escalation of tension in Ukraine is in everyone’s interest, the Kremlin statement notes.

Meanwhile, the coup-imposed Kiev government has stepped up pressure on Crimea, blocking the electronic system of the region’s treasury, freezing the autonomy’s accounts, and ramping up the presence of border police on the autonomy’s borders.

According to Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev, Kiev’s recent moves will not affect state payments, including pensions, and Crimean authorities are now opening accounts in Russian banks instead of relying on the frozen ones.

Temirgaliev also told Interfax that authorities are expecting that some additional railway traffic to and from Russia will be ferried over the Kerch Strait. A bridge connecting Kerch and Russia’s Krasnodar Region is also being built “at a rapid pace,” he said.

The future status of the region has yet to be decided by its people; the All-Crimean referendum will take place on March 16.

According to the speaker of the Supreme Council of Crimea, Vladimir Konstantinov, Crimea would prefer to keep its status of autonomous parliamentary republic in the case of a favorable outcome of the referendum.

Southeastern Ukraine rallies against govt

On Sunday, thousands of anti-Maidan demonstrators rallying in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk blocked and occupied the regional administration building, hoisting a Russian flag on top. The protesters have demanded that Mikhail Bolotskikh, the region’s head, step down. Bolotskikh was appointed by the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities.

Some 3,000 people took part in the rally and about 1,000 broke inside the building, according to Itar-Tass and local media reports. Twitter users claimed that Bolotskikh has already signed his resignation and escaped the city center in a car through a “disgrace corridor” formed by the protesters.

Later on Sunday, the fugitive official declared that he signed the document under pressure and that he is still carrying out his duties.

Before the takeover, pro-Russian demonstrators reportedly clashed with Euromaidan activists demonstrating near a monument to Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, whose 200th birthday was celebrated on Sunday.

Shevchenko’s anniversary attracted rallies in support of Ukraine’s unity all across the country. One of the largest demonstrations took place in Kharkov, where some 10,000 people marched with a huge 100-meter Ukrainian flag and chanted, “No to war!”

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