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MOSCOW, July 03. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian government will spend 100 billion rubles (about $3 billion) in 2015 on Crimea’s development, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Thursday.
This sum will include expenditures on the construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait to link mainland Russia and the Black Sea peninsula, the finance minister said.
The program of Crimea’s development is at the stage of approval at relevant ministries and will be submitted to the government soon, the finance minister said.
Russian Red Cross to open branches in Crimea
The Russian Red Cross has collected a total of 61 million rubles ($1.8 million) for elderly and people with limited abilities in the Republic of Crimea, which recently seceded from Ukraine and joined Russia, the chief of the Russian Red Cross said on Thursday.
“The Russian Red Cross collected 61 million rubles to provide assistance to the socially vulnerable groups of population in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol,” Raisa Lukutsova said, adding that the money would be spent to purchase medical and household equipment for elderly and people with limited abilities.
She also said that the allocation of the money will begin as soon as the work on the opening of the Russian Red Cross branches in Crimea and Sevastopol was completed.
Under the integration efforts, all healthcare institutions there are planned to be incorporated into the Russian healthcare system starting from January 1, 2015.
The Crimean Health Ministry is currently in poor condition as within the last 30 years, it received support neither in material and technical, nor in technological healthcare sectors. Modernization of the regional healthcare system could be completed in a year at an estimated cost of 5.5 billion rubles ($152.6 million).
Crimea's integration into Russia
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean peninsula, where most residents are Russians, signed reunification deals with Russia on March 18 after a referendum two days earlier in which an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.
Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems is actively underway now that Crimea has become part of Russia.
In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when it was gifted to Ukraine by Soviet Communist Party leader Nikita Khrushchev.