Putin signs decree for Crimea to officially join Russia

Putin signs decree for Crimea to officially join Russia
Fri Mar 21, 2014 15:52:24

Russia has finalized the legal process of taking Crimea under its sovereignty, as Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law amending the Russian constitution to reflect the transition.

Earlier Russian lawmakers ratified both the amendment and an international treaty with Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which was legally required for the incorporation.

Following the signing of the law, Putin thanked lawmakers and everyone involved in the historic change of European borders for their efforts to make it happen.

“I ask lawmakers of both chambers to work actively and do everything we can, to make the transition process not only painless, but also beneficial for all Russia and the people of Crimea,” Putin said.

The actual transition of Crimea to existing under Russian laws and regulations may take until next year. Local rules in the new Russian region will be changed to adopt the ruble, social benefits, tax requirements and other Russian legislation.

The treaty and the bill were submitted for the approval of Russian lawmakers on Tuesday by President Vladimir Putin, following last week’s referendum in Crimea, which showed the overwhelming support of the peninsula’s residents for joining Russia.

Russia pledged to make the process as smooth as possible by offering funding and recognizing various Ukrainian documents, which were in force in Crimea before it declared its independence last week.

Moscow will keep military ranks and diplomas for Ukrainian troops, who choose to serve Russia, give preference to Ukrainian officials, who want to keep their positions in Crimea, and expedite issuing Russian citizenship to all residents of Crimea, who want it.


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