Ukraine breakaway territory to use Russian rouble as official currency

  • Elisabeth Gheorghe
  • 3.3.2017 08:41

Luhansk authorities in eastern Ukraine announced that the Russian rouble will become the official currency of the Luhansk People’s Republic commencing 1 March, Kommersant reported on 27 February, replacing the Ukrainian hryvnia.

The separatists issued an ultimatum on Kyiv in response to the rail blockade and threatened to cut off coal supplies, which would also endanger up to 300,000 jobs in coal-dependent industries. Despite economic and political implications, social effects could be exacerbated by mass-unemployment.

This comes about a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree, recognising documents issued by the rebels controlling Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, granting their civilians visa-free travel. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said the decision was made for humanitarian reasons and, aligned with the 2015 Minsk deal, heavy military equipment will be withdrawn. Since January 2017, heavy fighting has escalated between the Ukrainian army and Russian-backed rebels. The ceasefire of 20 February was immediately broken, purporting the Minsk Agreement’s implementation.

About author: Elisabeth Gheorghe

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