MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. The Russian economy’s total losses from Crimea’s reintegration are estimated at $150-200 billion over 3-4 years, ex-Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin said on Tuesday.
Kudrin made his statement at a round table discussion held at TASS news agency on the fifteenth anniversary of Vladimir Putin's election as Russia's president.
"During 3-4 years, this figure may reach from $150 billion to $200 billion," Kudrin said. "These are indirect and direct losses in aggregate. This is a very approximate estimate but this is what it will perhaps be, in my view," the expert added.
Russia’s indirect losses from reintegrating Crimea include Western sanctions and a changed attitude to the Russian economy, the ex-finance minister said.
Direct losses are related to financial restrictions imposed by Western sanctions, as well as "direct costs Russia is bearing."
Crimea’s reintegration will cost Russia about $6-7 billion a year, Kudrin said.
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.
A people’s referendum was held in Crimea on March 16, 2014, in which most people voted for reuniting with Russia. On March 18, 2014, President Putin signed a decree on Crimea’s integration into Russia.