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East Ukraine is 'de facto offshore zone' after banking system shuts: Rebel leader

Published on Jul 27, 2014 10:38 PM
 
Pavel Gubarev, one of the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, watches as fighters pledge an an oath during ceremony in the city of Donetsk on June 21, 2014. Pavel Gubarev said east Ukraine was a "de facto offshore zone" following a decree from the country's government that shuts down the banking system in the area. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

DONETSK, Ukraine (AFP) - A rebel leader on Sunday said east Ukraine was a "de facto offshore zone" following a decree from the country's government that shuts down the banking system in the area.

"They've taken their banking system out of here. They've switched it off," Mr Pavel Gubarev, head of the mobilisation committee of the unrecognised Donetsk People's Republic, told reporters.

"They are de facto acknowledging our independence," he said, adding: "This is basically now an offshore, tax-free zone where banks will work only with cash."

Mr Gubarev said that bank branches on rebel-controlled territory would initially be put under "external administration" with a view to possible nationalisation.

 
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