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Russia Divvying Up Crimean Resorts

Published: July 21, 2014 (Issue # 1820)



  • The state currently owns between 180 and 190 health resorts, but about half of them are in a state of disrepair.
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The government has started divvying up state-owned Crimean health retreats among Russian agencies and companies, though many of them are in no fit state to receive guests, Kommersant reported Monday.

"After the referendum in Crimea, all government property on the territory went to the [new Russian] republic. Now the Crimean authorities are transferring institutional health retreats and sanatoriums to the relevant Russian ministries and departments," a representative of the administration of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who is in charge of assimilating Crimea into the Russian state, told Kommersant.

With its annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in March, Russia gained 467 health spas, 232 hotels, 92 children's health camps and 517 kilometers of beach previously owned by the Ukrainian government, the report said. About 31 billion rubles ($882 million) of state funds are to be spent on developing the region's tourism infrastructure.

The state currently owns 180 to 190 health resorts, but about half of them are in a state of disrepair, a representative of the Crimean resorts and tourism department told Kommersant. He said the ones that are in poor condition could be given to buyers who are prepared to take on their repair, while the other half could be transferred to government agencies or state-owned companies.

The Interior Ministry announced last week that it had been handed control of five health resorts, including the Izumrud in Yevpatoria, the report said. State-owned monopoly Russian Railways, whose chief, Vladimir Yakunin, is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, will take over properties currently run by Crimean Railways, an unidentified government source said.

About another 100 health retreats will be transferred to ministries and large state companies, the report said.

The Federal Tourism Agency in May urged state-owned corporations and big businesses to treat their employees to vacations in Crimea to prevent a collapse of the peninsula's tourism industry, which has been hit by the Ukraine crisis and the annexation. Hoteliers on the peninsula have said that up to 70 percent of their clients used to come from Ukraine.

The Culture Ministry said that it works with certain health resorts, but would not take ownership of them, while the Energy Ministry and Russian Post both said that they have no plans to either manage Crimea resorts or to send their staff there on vacation.

State oil producer Rosneft said only that Crimea is included in its program for organizing employees' holidays.

Russian Railways declined to comment.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of today’s seminar is “Grammar Practice.”


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at “Professional Growth,” a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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