Putin Moves Crimean Parliamentary Election Forward

MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree announcing that an election for members of Crimea’s and Sevastopol’s legislative assembly planned for next year will instead be held on September 14.

The decree was a response to an appeal last month by the legislative assembly to hold the election in September.

Under the decree, Ukraine’s national currency, the hryvnia, will be fully withdrawn from circulation in Crimea and Sevastopol by June 1 of this year, instead of January 1, 2016.

Crimea and Sevastopol, which has a special status within the region, became subjects of the Russian Federation on March 21 after Putin signed reunification documents into law.

Crimea, which adopted a new constitution sealing its status as a part of Russia in April, introduced a transition period until January 2016, during which both the Russian and Ukrainian currencies would remain in use on equal grounds.

Late last month, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev proposed a sweeping development program to improve the lives of Crimea’s residents, ranging from revamping the region’s healthcare and education systems to boosting its ailing economy.

Tuesday’s decree is available on the official Russian news portal for legal information.

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