MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday it is 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."
"Routine working activities conducted in Russian regions, including Crimea, are closely linked with relations with the Russian government in many areas," he said. "This is the way the system works in all regions."
He drew attention to the fact that Crimea was a rather big region but living standards there were still lagging behind Russia’s average. That is why, in his words, "problem situation arise now and then."
As for alleged underfinancing of the region, Peskov noted that "the government should be the source."
At a roundtable meeting in Moscow on December 18, Crimea’s Head Sergey Aksyonov said that Crimea’s budget "has received nothing" from the 2015 federal budgetary funds designated to the implementation of the federal program for Crimea’s development. In this connection, he suggested the republican authorities be granted the right to spend federal budgetary funds without agreement with federal agencies, or the same right that is given to the president.
A source in the Russian government told TASS "the cabinet of ministers was surprised to hear Aksyonov’s sensational statement." The source said agreements had been signed with the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol on September 18, 2015. "A total of 2.77 billion rubles ($38.85 million) were transferred from the federal budget to design and build 139 facilities under the program," the source said. "Bur as of today, the local authorities have signed contracts to a sum of 308 million roubles ($4.3 million) only."