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Russia to Print 20 Million Banknotes Glorifying Crimea Annexation

While the West viewed the seizure of the peninsula as a violation of international law, Russians responded to the annexation with a burst of nationalism and patriotic pride.

Russia will print millions of copies of a new banknote memorializing its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last year, a widely popular move that saw President Vladimir Putin's ratings soar and launched a wave of nationalist sentiment.

Georgy Luntovsky, the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, said in an interview published by news agency RIA Novosti on Wednesday that the 100-ruble ($1.80) banknote would have a print run of 20 million. Work on the bill's design is not yet completed, Luntovsky told RIA.

Luntovsky told journalists in April that the Central Bank planned to release a banknote commemorating the annexation by the end of 2015.

Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in March last year, setting off a battle of sanctions and counter-sanctions with the West that escalated further when the Kremlin was accused of supporting a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

While the West viewed the seizure of the peninsula as a violation of international law, Russians responded to the annexation with a burst of nationalism and patriotic pride.

This is not the first time that a unit of Russian currency has been used to commemorate the annexation. Late last year the Central Bank released two new 10-ruble coins featuring Crimean landmarks, saying at the time that 10 million of each coin would be released.

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