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Crimea’s leader says region may become donor in 3-5 years

October 16, 2014, 7:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

"The federal budget plans to allocate 82 billion roubles ($2.03 billion) to Crimea for 2015 and now we are raising the sources nobody has ever paid attention to" - he said

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Crimea’s head Sergey Aksyonov

Crimea’s head Sergey Aksyonov

© Aleksey Pavlishak/TASS

MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. Crimea’s head Sergey Aksyonov is hopeful the Black Sea peninsula may become a donor in a span of three to five years.

“We will build the situation in three or five years,” Aksyonov told the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily on Thursday. “The federal budget plans to allocate 82 billion roubles ($2.03 billion) to Crimea for 2015 and now we are raising the sources nobody has ever paid attention to.”

“Powerful state enterprises which could have become donors were given for free to private structures, the Chernomorneftegaz for instance,” he said. “We have exposed a covert scheme there as they were stealing about 100 cubic meters of gas condensate and sent it for processing.”

“The scheme was hard to crack down,” Crimea’s head said. “At least 30 years the enterprise has not been upgraded though it has a monopoly on gas output, with current 600 cubic meters.”

“Gas flows to storages in Crimea,” he said. “So we have no problems with this. The plans are to drill four wells - two wells in the current year and the other two the next year - so that to provide the peninsula’s energy sector with its own gas supplies.”

“Power generating capacities are still to be constructed,” Aksyonov said. “A potential of the enterprise is vast and we have a colossal amount of options.”

Speaking about setting up a special economic zone, Aksyonov said that “it should consider the today’s status of Crimea and the sanctions imposed on it.”

“It is a special situation and the standards of other Russian regions cannot be applicable here in full,” he said.

“Crimea stood aside before as favourable investment climate was not created here,” he said adding that it averted large financial injections since “in the past four years the Ukrainian authorities did nothing but for withdrawing money.”

“To ensure investments flowing into Crimea, we need a favourable investment climate and clear-cut rules for businesses,” Aksyonov said. “Our goal today is to create these conditions and to adopt the laws for comfortable and safe operation of the business.”

“We can submit our proposals till January 1, 2015,” Crimea’s head said. “When the Russian Banking Forum in the city of Yalta was underway, we asked bankers and large capital to submit their proposals about the law on special economic zone in the written form. We realise that business would always go to a better place.”

Reports said that a gambling zone would be set up in Crimea in three-year’s time and Aksyonov said “the gambling zone is still at the stage of discussions. We want to listen to all flagship experts and to assess the estimated economic effect.”

“I think the gambling zone will be strictly localised, perhaps in the area outside Yalta,” he said. “There will be no slot machines around Crimea and I am a hard-line opponent here. It will be transparent and open as the project feasibility study would be debated by the public so that to take an appropriate decision afterwards.”

Aksyonov pointed out that Russians are interested in Crimea’s real estate and so “the prices of all the real estate are going up. In the capital Simferopol all the hotels are reserved and the taxi cabs are in great demand.”

“People are arriving from other cities seeking jobs and opening their business,” Crimea’s leader said. “Crimea is the place that many people want to visit and stay in and now all the Russians have an unimpeded access to the peninsula.

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