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Crimea fails with attempts to auction off property of Ukrainian oligarch Kolomoisky

December 28, 2015, 18:16 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

Prospective buyers are frightened by the sanctions regime imposed against Crimea but negotiations with the Crimean authorities are continuing

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Igor Kolomoisky

Igor Kolomoisky

© Konstantin Sazonchik/ITAR-TASS

SIMFEROPOL, December 28. /TASS/. The Crimean authorities have so far failed to auction off the properties of Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky that were nationalized on the Black Sea peninsula.

Prospective buyers are frightened by the sanctions regime imposed against Crimea but negotiations with the Crimean authorities are continuing.

"Big players, unfortunately, do not want to have direct dealings on the territory of the republic due to the sanctions regime. Due to this, we have a limited number of potential buyers. There isn’t a long queue. But I hold personal meetings with potential buyers myself," Crimean Head Sergei Aksyonov told journalists, commenting on the situation with the property of the nationalized sanatorium Foros in Big Yalta.

The first auction to sell the Foros sanatorium didn’t take place due to the absence of buyers. Moreover, the auction was delayed several times. A repeat auction planned for December 30 has been postponed, Aksyonov said.

"The auction will be held, after all, in late January — early February. Up until now, there were prohibitive moments linked with the arrest, which the Investigative Committee imposed as part of cases into Kolomoisky," the Crimean head said.

The Foros facility that includes a park on the Black Sea peninsula’s southern coast occupies an area of about 65 hectares. The starting price of the sanatorium put for sale by the Crimean Property Directorate two months ago equaled 1.42 billion rubles ($20 million). The Crimean parliament passed a decision on September 4, 2014 to nationalize Kolomoisky’s property and Privat Group controlled by the Ukrainian oligarch.

The Crimean authorities held a referendum on March 16, 2014 on local residents’ attitude to Crimea’s reunification with Russia. With a record turnout of over 80%, 96.7% of Crimean residents and 95.6% of electors living in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol voted for the Black Sea peninsula’s reintegration into Russia.

The treaty on integrating the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol into Russia was approved by both houses of the Russian parliament, after which President Vladimir Putin signed a federal law on incorporating two new constituent entities into the Russian Federation.

Ukraine, the United States and the European Union have refused to recognize Crimea as part of Russia, despite the referendum’s convincing results.

Crimea used to be part of Russia from 1784 until 1954 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev handed it over to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in a voluntaristic act. Crimea remained part of independent Ukraine after the USSR collapsed in 1991.

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