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Cabinet Outlines Costs of Crimea

Published: March 25, 2014 (Issue # 1802)



  • Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting on Monday dedicated to the socioeconomic development of Crimea.
    Photo: Government.ru

The costly consequences of expanding Russia's territory became clearer Monday when Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev revealed a Crimea to-do list for the government and its corporations.

Russia will need to take care of entitlements and services ranging from retirement pensions to tax rebates to electricity supply in a peninsula that has no overland links with its new sovereign and used to be part of a different country, Ukraine, just a few days ago.

"It is the first time in the history of contemporary Russia that the Cabinet has to solve a problem that is so massive and multidimensional," Medvedev said. "It is a good way to show the potential of the contemporary Russian state as well as its managerial skills."

Crimea formally became a Russian region on March 18 after a referendum that remains unrecognized in the West, and that has brought about a string of sanctions slapped by the U.S. and European Union on Russian government officials, businesspeople and a bank described as the preferred financial institution of President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.

In one of the most expensive measures Medvedev announced Monday, the government could spend 36 billion rubles ($1 billion) this year on getting Crimean pensions up to par with the rest of Russia. About a third of the peninsula's population of 2 million people are pensioners.

The impact of the money inflow could be so strong as to send local consumer prices climbing, Medvedev warned. He called for a gradual schedule of increasing the payouts.

At the same time, other welfare benefits to be provided by Russia that Crimeans used to have from the Ukrainian government will remain at the existing level for a transitional period that ends in January next year, Medvedev said.

"Nobody should lose anything," he said.

In another expense, Medvedev said that the government would raise the salaries of workers in Crimea paid from the state budget to match the average Russian level for these types of jobs. He referred primarily to teachers, healthcare workers and staff at museums and libraries.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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