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“We will not extend it, although such proposals have been voiced. Crimea is ready to be integrated into the system of Russia’s state management on an overwhelming range of issues, and no major problems arise,” Kozak stressed.
He added however that some issues due to objective reasons could need an additional period, explaining that with the difference in the economic situation between the two new constituent territories of the federation and the rest of the country.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday he signed a government decree on a transition period for tariffs on housing and public utilities in Crimea, allowing it to switch to Russia’s system within the next two years.
The treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia, signed by President Vladimir Putin in mid-March, envisages a transition period for the integration of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into the Russian economic, financial, credit and legal systems. This transition period expires on 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.
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 accessed to the Russian Federation.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.