ST PETERSBURG, July 2 Russia plans to issue a banknote dedicated to Crimea, a senior central bank official said on Wednesday, the latest expression of national pride over Moscow's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine.
"We plan to issue a banknote dedicated to Crimea, but it will be a banknote of the denominations already in circulation," Georgy Luntovsky, the bank's first deputy chairman, told journalists at a banking conference in St Petersburg.
Luntovsky said he hoped the banknote would be issued by the end of the year but gave no further details.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March, prompting a surge in national fervour by reclaiming what many Russians see as their historic land but also precipitating the worst standoff in East-West relations since the Cold War.
It was not immediately clear what the Crimea banknote would look like, though a Russian politician earlier suggested it should depict monuments in Crimea, including those in Sevastopol where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based. ($1 = 34.2200 Russian Roubles) (Reporting by Oksana Kobzeva; Writing by Alexander Winning, editing by Elizabeth Piper and Toby Chopra)