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Nationalization of Ukrainian enterprises in Crimea to be completed by March

February 24, 2015, 16:45 UTC+3 KRASNOPEREKOPSK

The final decisions on nationalization are likely to be adopted on Friday

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A view of the Yusupov Palace and Park Compound in Koreiz

A view of the Yusupov Palace and Park Compound in Koreiz

© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Pavlishak

KRASNOPEREKOPSK, February 24. /TASS/. The process of nationalization of Ukrainian enterprises located on the Crimean peninsula will be completed by March 1, 2015, Sergey Aksyonov, the head of the Republic of Crimea, said on Tuesday.

The final decisions on nationalization are likely to be adopted at a session of the regional parliament this week on Friday, he said.

"We have promised that the mechanism of nationalization will be closed by March 1," Aksyonov told journalists. "The State Council’s session [on nationalization] will be held on Friday at approximately 4:00 p.m. Moscow time."

Aksyonov reiterated that the main aim of the nationalization is not "to simply snatch something from someone."

"We have never set such a task," the Crimean leader said. "We are talking about a number of facilities, which were unduly acquired and pose a strategic value for the peninsula. Today there is no other way to bring them back except nationalization."

The process of nationalization in Crimea kicked off last year with the local authorities’ decision to bring the former Ukrainian presidential properties back to the republican ownership.

Crimea nationalizes Gorbachev’s dacha

The list of nationalized institutions included seven facilities embracing 10 state villas and residences. One of them was state residence No. 3 "Malaya Sosnovka. Shatyor" in Massandra, Built back in 1948 on Soviet ruler Josef Stalin’s order behind the Massandra Palace, the state residence was used for informal receptions. In 2011, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych celebrated his 61st birthday there.

The list of nationalized facilities also included a hunting lodge in the Dubrava-2 refuge in the territory of the Crimean natural preserve and the residence known as the Yusupov Palace and Park Compound in Koreiz where Stalin lived during the Yalta conference in 1945. In the last few years, the Yusupov Palace had offered its halls for VIP celebrations instead of functioning as a state dacha.

Two country estates - No. 5 and No. 7-were transferred to Crimea’s ownership as a single property compound. At the time of the Central Committee of the CPSU (the Communist Party of the Soviet Union), the former was known as Mayovka and the latter as the Chayir dacha. Ex-Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko stayed at these dachas located close to the sanatorium "Nizhnyaya Oreanda" for Ukrainian lawmakers.

The Crimean authorities also nationalized two dachas and two residences in the village of Oliva (Mukhalatka) near Foros, which were especially popular among Ukrainian leaders. State residence No. 6 was treated as a reserve residence but this was the place where ex-Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko liked to spend his Crimean vacations, devoting them to his hobby of bee raising. During the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict in 2008, Yushchenko provided nearby residence No. 8 as accommodation for Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili’s wife Sandra Roelofs and their sons Nikoloz and Edward.

The Ukrainian political elite liked state residence No. 9 for its tennis courts and a 25-meters swimming pool with seawater. Russian President Vladimir Putin stayed at residence No. 9 as a guest when Leonid Kuchma was Ukraine’s president.

Nationalized state residence No. 10 was used as a guest house or was leased out. President of the Russian Republic of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov used to stay at the residence.

The most famous state residence among presidential dachas was state residence No. 11 known as the "Zarya" facility. It was built in 1988 in a bay near Cape Sarych on order from the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It is the place where Gorbachev was held under house arrest during the 1991 coup. After that, the residence fell into disrepute and Ukrainian leaders kept away from it, fearing to repeat Gorbachev’s fate. In 2012 and 2013 Viktor Yanukovych celebrated his birthday at the Zarya residence.

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