KIEV, September 25 (RAPSI) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a law establishing a free economic area in Crimea that joined Russia as a result of a referendum, RIA Novosti reported on Thursday.

The law stipulates that a free economic area in Crimea is to be established for ten years, with special legal implications for the economic activity of individuals and corporations, including a special application of customs and tax legislation of Ukraine and special regulations for domestic and foreign immigration.

Crimea and Sevastopol became Russian regions after a referendum in which the majority of residents voted for reunification with Russia.

Crimea, a largely Russian-speaking republic, was part of Russia until it was given to Ukraine by former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954. President Vladimir Putin said in an official address to federal and regional officials that Khrushchev’s decision was in clear violation of the constitutional standards at the time.

Nevertheless, Ukraine considers Crimea its territory, and claims it to be occupied.

Notably, only 3,500 people refused to apply for Russian citizenship, according to the Russian Federal Migration Service.