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GORKI, December 21. /TASS/. Russia’s government said on Monday Crimea’s authorities have frustrated the federal program for the republic’s development in 2015 but no resignations are planned as of yet. Moscow warned about stricter control over the use of budgetary funds in Crimea.
Thus, only ten percent of the sum ($40 million) allocated to the region has been used, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said, adding that a special governmental commission would be tasked to control the situation.
"Following discussions between the federal and Crimean authorities in autumn, it was decided to set up a commission and identify reasons for delays in the use of funds," Kozak said. "And now, it has been decided at the instruction of the prime minister to strengthen this commission to include officials not only from the finance and economic development ministries, but also from the prosecutor general’s office. This commission will go to the region to assess the situation and pass an objective decision."
The Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol in September 2015 signed agreements, under which a total of 2.77 billion rubles ($38.85 million) had been transferred from the federal budget to design and build 139 facilities under the program. However the Crimean authorities have signed contracts to a sum of 308 million roubles ($4.3 million) only.
Kozak however said no resignations of Crimea’s top officials were being planned. "So far, it is out of the agenda," he said. "I don’t know who said Crimea’s authorities are inefficient. Probably, there are middle- and low-level officials who are failing to do their job, judging by the situation in feasibility studies and cost planning."
Crimea’s Head Sergey Aksyonov however said the focus should be made not on who is to blame but on what is to be done.
"We are identifying problems facing us and are looking for ways to solve them," he told journalists on Monday. "We always say about our problems openly at cabinet meetings and never tend to idealize our officials. We are aware of our weak points. But today, a number of projects have been frustrated, with deadlines missed. And the question now is not who is to blame but what is to be done. If we have gone wrong, we will always find a possibility to punish our officials."
"I don’t see any problems in this situation. If we seek only how to hush up problems to spare anyone who is responsible for the implementation of the program, we will find ourselves in a dead end," Aksyonov said.
"The government is seriously worried over professionalism and the quality of work of regional authorities," specialists of the Russian cabinet of ministers said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said earlier on Monday it was wrong to play up current problems in relations between the Russian government and Crimea’s authorities. "It would be wrong to magnify current problems in routine work between regional authorities and the federal government to the proportion of crises," Peskov told journalists, commenting on the Crimean authorities’ accusations against the federal government. "It would be better to focus on settling these problems and explaining one’s own position in routine mode."