Ukraine 'blocks accounts of Crimea state treasury'

MOSCOW - Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Temirgaliyev said Sunday that the administration in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, had blocked Crimea's financial accounts and the electronic systems of the Crimean State Treasury. 

"We have just received information that Ukraine has blocked the entire system of the Crimean section of the State Treasury, all accounts," Temirgaliyev told the Russian Interfax agency. 

But the deputy prime minister said the action would not affect the payment of wages and pensions and officials in Crimea would not allow any catastrophe there.

"People will not be left without pensions and wages in any case," he said. "The situation is under control."

Unrest in Ukraine broke out in November after then-President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a landmark EU deal in favour of a bailout from Russia. Yanukovych was ousted last month, and the Ukrainian parliament voted in a new government. 

Presidential elections are planned for May 25. Russian troops maintain their presence in Ukraine's autonomous region of Crimea, where authorities plan to hold a referendum on whether to unite with Russia. 

The U.S. has warned Moscow that any action to annex Crimea would close the door to diplomacy.

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