In Russia a law came into force cancelling Ukrainian licenses for the use of subsoil in the annexed Crimea and introducing a new procedure for registration.

According to the new rules, the right to exploit subsoil plots located in the Black and Azov Seas will be provided by the decision of the Russian government after the auction.

The document says that licenses for the use of deposits of the Black and Azov Seas, issued by state and other official bodies of Ukraine prior to the occupation of the peninsula, will be considered invalid.

"The government of Russia will make decisions on holding auctions for each subsoil block on the shelf of the Azov and Black Seas, on determining the order and conditions for their conduct, as well as on the composition and functioning of the auction commissions," the document says.

The new law "establishes the same norms for granting licenses in the Crimea, which already operate throughout Russia."

Earlier it was reported that the leadership of the State Service of Geology and Mineral Resources of Ukraine decided to automatically extend 19 special permits for the oil and gas company Chernomorneftegaz for the use of the deposits of the annexed Ukrainian Crimea.

According to the statement of the company, because of the occupation of the Crimea and the extremely critical economic state of the enterprise, Chernomorneftegaz failed to roll over special permits on time and to make a rental payment.

Source: TASS