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Russia to spend $18 billion on Crimea´s economy

July 1, 2014

Russia to spend $18.2 billion on Crimea´s economy up to 2020, according to Russian Regional Development Minister.

The Russian government will invest 620 billion rubles ($18.2 billion) on Crimea up to 2020, an amount larger than that of the loans given to Ukraine by the West, Russia's Regional Development Minister said on Tuesday.

According to a development program of Crimea prepared by Russia´s Regional Development Ministry, projects include the construction of a bridge over Kerch Strait to connect Crimea and Russia.

The Russian Finance Ministry estimated Crimea´s budget deficit at $1.5 billion earlier in March of this year, and the country needs to spend more money on water and energy.

The main branches of the Crimean economy are tourism and agriculture. Its tourism income declined after tensions in the region.

On May of this year, the board of governors of the International Monetary Fund endorsed a new anti-crisis program for Ukraine that envisions a loan facility to the sum of around $17 billion over the next two years.

Tensions are running high in Ukraine's east after separatists in the two eastern regions declared independence from Kiev following Russia's annexation of Crimea on 21 March. 

Western countries have blamed Russia for instigating the conflict in Ukraine and supporting separatist groups, and have sought to punish Moscow by imposing economic sanctions following the annexation of Crimea.

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Source: Anadolu Agency (Turkey)

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