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Russia to allocate $83 million for restoration of Crimea’s sports infrastructure

December 09, 2014, 18:18 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Financing of the new sports federal target program from the federal budget will total around $1.4 billion

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Lokomotiv stadium in Simferopol, Crimea

Lokomotiv stadium in Simferopol, Crimea

© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. A total of 4.5 billion rubles ($83 million) will be allocated from a new Russian federal target program for restoration of Crimea’s sports infrastructure, Alexander Roslyakov, director of the Russian Sports Ministry’s investment development and state property management department, said Tuesday.

The program is entitled “Development of Physical Culture and Sports in the Russian Federation in 2016-2020”.

“Financing of the new federal target program from the federal budget will total 73.9 billion rubles [$1.4 billion],” Roslyakov said.

“Slightly more than 45 billion rubles ($830.5 million) will be allocated for facilities of big-time sports, and 8 billion rubles ($147.7 million) for mass sports facilities. Some 4.5 billion rubles ($83 million) is due to be allocated for restoration of Crimea’s sports infrastructure,” he said.

The concept of the new federal target program was approved by the Russian government in January 2014. “Over the next 5-10 days we will submit the program for consideration to the government of the Russian Federation,” Roslyakov said.

Crimea’s reunification with Russia

Crimea joined the Russian Empire in 1783, when it was conquered by Russian Empress Catherine the Great.

In the Soviet Union, Crimea was 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.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11. They held a referendum on March 16, 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.

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.

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 is underway now that Crimea has acceded to the Russian Federation.

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