Russian Post moves to unify Russian and Crimean postal systems
Russian Post has said its Russian customers can now send mail to the Crimea region under its domestic rates. The move follows the Russian Federation’s controversial annexation of Crimea, seizing control of the territory from the Ukraine following this month’s local referendum, which was declared “invalid” by the United Nations this week.
Russian Post said this week that it was transferring mail destined for the Crimean Republic to its domestic tariff. This includes letters, registered mail and parcel services, as well as express deliveries, with the new tariffs taking effect from 27 March.
Earlier this week, the company said it has also now taken over responsibility for receiving international express mail destined for the Crimean peninsula.
Russian Post said it had taken over international duties in the Crimea after the Ukraine’s postal administration informed the UN-affiliated Universal Postal Union that it no longer delivers international express shipments on the peninsula.
The state-owned company said it would handle mail for Crimean addresses at its mail centres in Russia without interruption to services.
Russian Post said: “Russia has informed the UPU that the designated operator of the Russian Federation is ready to accept and deliver EMS mail items addressed to the Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol.
“Russian Post guarantees mutual settlements for delivering items according to the tariffs for the Russian Federation within the international framework agreements for the EMS Cooperative.”
Russian Post, which is raising its rates by 5.2% from next month, said it was in the process of “complex” technical and organisational measures to arrange mail services in the Crimea under the postal regulations of the Russian Federation, in particular to unify the two postal systems.
From next month, a “Crimea Post” will be set up to help with the transition. Later, Russian media said that Crimean Post will become two branches of Russian Post – Crimea and Sevastopol branches.
Charge-on-delivery systems are set to be extended into the Crimea, and postal orders can be sent under Russian tariffs.
Russian Post said post codes in the Crimea region were set to change under the new arrangements, with the number two added to the front of existing five-digit post codes in the area.
Yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly voted 100-to-11 to declare Russia’s claims on the Crimean territory illegal and the local referendum on the region joining Russia as having “no validity”.
Russia said the UN’s non-binding resolution was “counterproductive” and complicated efforts to resolve the Ukraine’s political crisis. It also claimed that the UN vote was drummed up by Western governments through “political blackmail and economic threats”.