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Crimean winemakers ask Russia for celebratory banknote

Crimean Winemakers who welcomed the annexation of Crimea by Russia want the country's central bank to print 'commemorative' money with pictures of the territory's vineyards.

A design of the banknote, published by Legends of Crimea.

The group of producers known as Legends of Crimea has written to the head of Russia’s central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, to ask her to create a 200-ruble note bearing a landscape view of Crimean vineyards. Two hundred rubles is around £2.

The move comes less than a week after the bank said it would release a special 100-ruble note to celebrate Russia’s annexation of Crimea. It has reportedly released special 10 ruble coins already.

According to the Legends of Crimea website, its general director, Mikhail Shtyrlin, said a 200-ruble note adorned by vines would ‘raise the patriotic spirit of society and draw attention to Crimea as a centre of winemaking’.

Shtyrlin is also vice-president of the Russian winemakers’ union. The Legends of Crimea cited Russian news publication Izvestia.ru as saying winemakers spent 1m rubles to design the 200-ruble notes.

In October, Russia’s government said it would invest up to €250m to help Crimean wineries to expand and grow sales.

Last week, a Russian government spokesperson told Decanter.com that president Vladimir Putin would consider a call by politicians in the state parliament, the Duma, to ban imports of French wine. Relations between Russia and western powers have worsened in the wake of the political crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s subsequent move to annex Crimea.

Written by Chris Mercer

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