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SIMFEROOL, March 29. /ITAR-TASS/. The banking system in Crimea, which separated from Ukraine and rejoined Russia after a secession referendum on March 16, will start operating at full capacity from March 31,Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said.
“The banking system will be operating at full capacity from Monday,” Aksyonov said at a meeting with Sergei Morozov, governor of Russia’s Ulyanovsk Region, on Saturday, March 29.
By that time, a large number of bank offices will open in Crimea to disburse roubles.
The banking system in Crimea and Sevastopol will initially be formed by local banks. “As the banking sector develops, banks operating in Russia and our key lending institutions will move there,” Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said this week.
“Roubles have been put into the system and settlements are made in roubles along with hryvnias. We will now open rouble accounts for business entities,” Siluanov said, adding that “the banking system will start working in full in the near future”.
The transitional period in Crimea will continue until January 1, 2015 to solve all issues pertaining to the integration of the new constituent members - Crimea and Sevastopol into the economic, financial, credit and legal systems of Russia, into its government system, as well as issues concerning military duty and military service in the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol.
Taxes collected in Crimea will remain in its budget until 2015, and Russia will provide financial support to Crimea and Sevastopol in 2014-2016.
The Russian rouble will be the official currency in Crimea, but the Ukrainian hryvnia will circulate along with the rouble until 2016. However taxes, social allowances and salaries will be paid in roubles.
Crimean banks will be required to exchange hryvnia for roubles at the official exchange rate of the Russian Central Bank until January 1, 2015. They will be allowed to operate under the licenses of the Ukrainian National Bank until the end of this year.
Siluanov also said that salaries in the public sector and pensions in Crimea would grow faster than prices. “We will raise salaries, pensions and allowances in the first several months quite rapidly to bring them to the Russian standards. This will undoubtedly affect prices in the new Russian regions. But the payments we are planning will be made faster. So people in the new Russian regions will live better and their incomes will be higher than possible price changes,” the minister said.
He said 343 billion roubles would be earmarked for this purpose from the budget reserves.