(Adds quotes, background)
MOSCOW, April 17 Russian president Vladimir
Putin said on Thursday the country would speed up the process of
switching Crimea's banking system to the rouble as Moscow looks
to integrate the peninsula it annexed last month.
Crimea has officially introduced the rouble and started
paying out pensions and state salaries in the currency since the
region voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining Russia on March
16. Kiev and the West have denounced the annexation.
"The (situation) in the banking sector has not been
completely resolved," Putin said in a televised call-in with the
"We will try to talk with Ukrainian partners until we can
find no solution. Turnover of the (Ukrainian) hryvnia is
already restricted. The situation leaves no choice but to move
to an accelerated circulation of the rouble."
Putin said it would take about a month to create a network
and open up the needed number of accounts.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Andrey Kuzmin, Oksana Kobzeva
and Polina Devitt; writing by Megan Davies; Editing by John