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Parliament speaker: Crimea’s integration into Russia to proceed as scheduled

April 05, 2014, 18:32 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
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SIMFEROPOL, April 05 /ITAR-TASS/. Crimea’s integration with Russia will proceed as scheduled, Crimean State Council (parliament) Chairman Vladimir Konstantinov said at a meeting with State Duma (lower house of the Russian parliament) Speaker Sergei Naryshkin on Saturday, April 5.

“Crimea has gone away from politics and is all in work now,” he said, adding that “people take all problems of the transitional period with understanding”.

Konstantinov said that work continued 24 hours a day. “The deadlines set out in the plans will be met,” he said. “We are getting substantial financial aid and all financial questions are being solved.”

Naryshkin reiterated that Crimea’s reunification with Russia “is a great pivotal event in world history”. “I am saying this sincerely. I really do think so,” he said.

The transitional period will continue until January 1, 2015 to solve all issues pertaining to the integration of the new constituent members 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.

Security, customs, law enforcement and other government personnel, and prosecutors who worked in Ukraine and Sevastopol will have a pre-emptive right in seeking employment in the relevant Russian bodies, provided they have Russian citizenship and take a test to prove their knowledge of Russian legislation. This requirement will also apply to judges who worked in Crimea and Sevastopol.

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.

Elections in Crimea and Sevastopol will be held on the second Sunday of September 2015. The State Council of Crimea (parliament), the government of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council will continue to perform their functions until then.

Early parliamentary and local elections in Crimea may be held before the end of the year by which time all key questions of the transitional period will have been solved, Konstantinov said.

“The possibility of holding early elections is being considered but only as one of the options,” the CrimeaInform news agency quoted Konstantinov as saying.

He believes that this step is “clear and logical” as “the whole system of power is being overhauled”.

“Only when a new political system is created, people in Crimea get Russian passports and a financial system is built in the republic will we be able to talk about the elections,” Konstantinov said.

He said the Crimean parliament would be elected using a mixed electoral system - by party lists and in majoritarian constituencies.

On March 18, at the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin, Crimean State Council Chairman Vladimir Konstantinov, Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and Sevastopol Mayor Alexei Chaly signed a treaty under which “the Republic of Crimea is deemed to have been admitted to the Russian Federation.” “From the day of the Republic of Crimea’s admission to the Russian Federation, new constituent members - the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol as a city of federal significance - shall be created in the Russian Federation,” the document said.

Under the reunification treaty, the official languages of the Republic of Crimea are Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar.

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