Accession to Russia may take 12 months - Crimean authorities

The formation of Crimean state institutions and the switch to Russian standards may take up to twelve months since the moment the republic chooses to join Russia, Crimean First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev told Interfax.

The formation of Crimean state institutions and the switch to Russian standards may take up to twelve months since the moment the republic chooses to join Russia, Crimean First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev told Interfax.

"If the referendum yields this decision, it will take from three to twelve months to form the authorities, to reconfigure the judiciary, to coach judges and jurists for work under Russian laws and to exchange documents, including passports," Temirgaliyev said.

In his words, Ukrainian ids of Crimean residents will be exchanged for Russian identification documents in a simplified procedure and gratis.

Temirgaliyev also disclosed the procedure of Crimea's possible accession to Russia. "After this decision is made at referendum, the Crimean parliament will appeal to Russian colleagues. A decision of Russia's authorized body will be required. Then, most probably, Crimea and Russia will conclude a treaty. We will have to write our constitution and elect the regional head. Most probably, we will have the acting head at the first. He will be elected by the parliament with consent of the Russian president," Temirgaliyev said.

Temirgaliyev told that the Russian ruble could become a circulating currency in Crimea in a two weeks' time. "The Ukrainian treasury has again blocked the accounts of the republic. Today this is not disastrous because we have set up an alternative system. But without fast efficient introduction in Crimea of the ruble it will be difficult to keep the financial situation stable, since Kiev might limit volumes of the hryvnia in the peninsula. So the question of introducing the ruble is a matter of roughly two weeks."

In April Crimeans will be paid their salaries and pensions in rubles, he said.

"In April, both salaries and pensions, as well as prices, will be in rubles," he said.

There should not be a sharp rise in consumer goods prices in Crimea once it joins Russia. "Certainly, we reserve the option of regulating prices for socially-significant goods. A day earlier we invited heads of the largest retail chains and asked them to do whatever is possible for warehouses to have enough food and prices to remain reasonable," Temirgaliyev said.

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