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Russian Ruble Is 85% of Money Transfers in East Ukraine Rebel Republic

Says the head of the rebel Lugansk People's Republic

LUGANSK, May 4 (TASS) - Two months after the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) introduced a multi-currency system over Kiev’s economic blockade, the Russian ruble took up 85% of money supply, LPR Head Igor Plotnitsky said on Monday.

Such developments are not a surprise because there were all pre-requisites for this trend, he said.

"This was not a surprise for us. The only surprise was the speed of the ruble’s dominance in the monetary sphere," Plotnitsky said.

Today, 85% of all payments on the LPR territory are made in Russian rubles while the Ukrainian hryvnia accounts for 12%, he said.

The remaining percentage is taken up by US dollars, the LPR head said.

The LPR head said in February the republic was switching to a multi-currency financial system amid the rapidly depreciating Ukrainian currency and Kiev’s economic blockade of the republic.

"We have made a decision and a multi-currency financial system is beginning to work in the republic," the local news agency LuganskInformCenter quoted Plotnitsky as saying.

"The ruble, the hryvnia, the dollar and other currencies convenient for us will circulate in the republic," Plotnitsky said.

The LPR leaders earlier said the republic would keep the hryvnia as the basic currency in the short term but might switch to settlements in rubles in the long run.

The Luhansk and Donetsk regions proclaimed the establishment of the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics after local referendums in May last year. The LPR and DPR later signed an agreement on uniting the regions into the Novorossiya Union of People’s Republics.

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