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Crimea enters rouble zone with shortage of small coins

May 31, 2014, 13:07 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

Russian rouble has become Crimea’s official currency immediately as the peninsula joined the Russian Federation on March 21

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SIMFEROPOL, May 31 /ITAR-TASS/. From June 1, Crimea will be using roubles only - price quotations in two currencies will cease to exist, all cash and non-cash settlements will be made in roubles, and Ukraine’s hryvnias will be considered a foreign currency.

Russian rouble has become Crimea’s official currency immediately as the peninsula joined the Russian Federation on March 21. All non-cash payments have been made in roubles already after May 6, though hryvnias in cash are accepted everywhere till June.

In compliance with the law, signed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on May 27, rouble now becomes the only legal currency for cash and non-cash payments by individuals and enterprises in the territory of Crimea and in the city of Sevastopol.

Before June 1, hryvnias could be exchanged in Crimea’s banks at an official rate of the Bank of Russia. In the beginning, prices, tariffs and any payments were converted at the exchange rate of 3.8 (one hryvnia equalled 3.8 roubles), and from April 16 Crimea’s authorities ordered to use the rate of 3.1.

The term of two currencies in the peninsula has been cut by 18 months - earlier plans were the Ukrainian currency could be used along with the Russian currency to January 2016.

“From June 1 will cease to exist price notes with two currencies - in roubles and hryvnias, and payments will be accepted in roubles only,” Russia’s Central Bank says.

From June 1, hryvnias will be available for selling or buying in Crimea at a market exchange rate, which banks will fix. This will be the procedure similar to operations with any foreign currencies throughout Russia. Banks in Crimea will continue to carry out their obligations regarding deposits in hryvnias even after June 1. Deposits in hryvnias will be available along with deposits in any other foreign currencies, like, for example in dollars or euro.

The Russian Central Bank says Crimea has been experiencing a shortage of small coins.

“We have sent over to Sevastopol several planes with small coins lately - the coins between one kopek and ten roubles,” CrimeaInform quotes acting head of the Central Bank’s branch in Sevastopol Vadim Ablezgov as saying.

“As of today, the branch’s storages are filled with these coins” and they will be delivered to commercial banks shortly, he added.

However, a manager of a Crimean bank, who preferred to remain anonymous, still confirmed a shortage of small coins.

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