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Russian business ombudsman says transitional period in Crimea should be extended

November 06, 2014, 0:16 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

The (initially set) period was too short, it was hard to solve all problems regarding licensing and technical regulation, Titov told journalists

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SIMFEROPOL, November 5. /TASS/. The Russian presidential commissioner for protection of the rights of businessmen, Boris Titov, said Wednesday he supports the idea to extend the transitional period in Crimea.

“The (initially set) period was too short, it was hard to solve all problems regarding licensing and technical regulation. We support the position of Crimean leaders that the transitional period should be extended,” Titov told journalists in Simferopol.

However, he expressed the fear that the situation in the sphere of entrepreneurship may fail to change even if the transitional period is prolonged.

“There is a danger that we will extend the periods once, the second time and nothing will change. So simultaneously with prolongation it is necessary to put forward demands. They (entrepreneurs) should realize that they should invest in new equipment, that they should meet the new legal and tax requirements,” Titov said.

“Each enterprise should receive this clear signal from the state that they should be changing,” he said, adding that the extension of the transitional period is necessary in all business activity spheres in Crimea.

Earlier, head of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov said the period could be extended; in particular, that concerns the use of some legal norms by law enforcement agencies and re-registration of small and mid-sized businesses.

In line with the law on admitting Crimea and Sevastopol as constituent members of Russia, the transitional period lasts from March 18, 2014 to January 1, 2015.

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11. They held a referendum on March 16, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18.

In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev, the first secretary of the USSR’s Communist Party, transferred it to Ukraine's jurisdiction as a gift.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Crimea became part of newly independent Ukraine and remained in that capacity until March 2014, when it reunified with Russia after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.

Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems is actively underway now that Crimea has acceded to the Russian Federation.

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