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YALTA, April 18. /TASS/. Crimea will spend 22.5 billion rubles ($438 million) on development of six tourist and recreation clusters in 2015-2020 as part of Russia’s federal target program of development for Crimea and Sevastopol, Crimean Tourism Minister Yelena Yurchenko said at the Yalta economic forum on Saturday.
"Overall, there are 15 tourist zones in Crimea. But we chose territories that have for the past 20 years seen neither investors nor state injections. Some of them have not been developed at all but have a unique tourist potential," Yurchenko said.
The construction of new accommodation, public catering and entertainment facilities in the clusters will be financed by investors and infrastructure (approach roads, sewage treatment facilities, communication lines) is to be built on funds from the federal budget.
Crimea's reunification with Russia
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.
Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
Crimea had joined the Russian Empire in 1783, when it was conquered by Russian Empress Catherine the Great.
In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev, the first secretary of the USSR’s Communist Party, transferred it to Ukraine's jurisdiction as a gift.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Crimea became part of newly independent Ukraine and remained in that capacity until March 2014, when it reunified with Russia after some 60 years as part of Ukraine.
According to the Crimean and Ukrainian statistics bodies, as of early 2014, Crimea had a population of 1,959,000 people; Sevastopol has a population of 384,000 people.
Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems has been actively underway since Crimea acceded to the Russian Federation.
The Yalta International Economic Forum, organized by the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea and the Business Russia public organization, opened Friday near the city of Yalta. Co-chairman of Business Russia Andrey Nazarov said some 450 participants attend the forum, including 30 investors and entrepreneurs from 13 countries.