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HindustanTimes Mon,20 Oct 2014

World

Crimea's 6 steps towards joining Russia after Soviet-style vote
AFP
Simferopol, Ukraine, March 17, 2014
First Published: 19:16 IST(17/3/2014)
Last Updated: 21:59 IST(17/3/2014)

Crimea launched a raft of measures on Monday to facilitate its entry into Russia, a day after the separatist region voted overwhelmingly to split from Ukraine.

Here is a summary of its first political, economic and military steps.

1) Independence declaration
Crimea's regional assembly declared independence from Ukraine and appealed for recognition from the international community.

"The Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea... declares Crimea an independent sovereign state -- the Republic of Crimea," said a document approved by the assembly.

"The republic of Crimea appeals to the United Nations and to all countries of the world to recognise it as an independent state."

Read: After Soviet-style vote, Crimea asks to join Russia; West mulls sanctions

2) Application to join Russia
The authorities simultaneously applied to become part of Russia, reversing a 1954 move by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev who had handed the peninsula as a "gift" to Ukraine, then still a Soviet republic.

"The Republic of Crimea... applies to the Russian Federation to accept the Republic of Crimea as a member of the Russian Federation," they said.

Read: As Russia closes in, Ukrainians fearful, defiant

A pro-Russian protester celebrates in Simferopol's Lenin Square on March 16, 2014 after exit polls showed that about 95% of voters in Ukraine's Crimea region supported union with Russia (AFP photo)


3) Nationalisation of Ukrainian state property
The assembly decreed the nationalisation of all Ukrainian state property in Crimea, saying: "All establishments, businesses and other organisations of Ukraine or with Ukrainian participation on the territory of Crimea will belong to Crimea."

It also noted that Ukrainian law would no longer apply in the breakaway region, nor would decisions taken by Kiev since the ouster of pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych last month.

"The activities of state institutions of Ukraine on the territory of Crimea are finished and their powers, their property and their budgets are transferred to the state organs of the Republic of Crimea," it said.

4) Military control
Crimea moved to rid the peninsula of Ukrainian forces, with regional assembly chief Volodymyr Konstantynov saying they would be given two alternatives: to swear allegiance to the local authorities or leave.

Konstantynov was earlier quoted by Russian media as saying all Ukrainian military units on the peninsula would be "disbanded" as part of the nationalisation of Ukrainian state property.

5) Accepting Russian currency
The Russian ruble was introduced as a second official currency in Crimea alongside the Ukrainian hryvnia, which will continue to be valid in Crimea until January 1, 2016.

6) Switch to Moscow time zone
In perhaps the most potentially confusing move yet, Crimea's local prime minister Sergiy Aksyonov tweeted that from March 30, the region would switch to Moscow time (GMT +4), two hours ahead of clocks in Ukraine.


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