Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited Crimea on Monday in a gesture that flaunted the the influence that Russia currently has over the region. The Prime Minister announced his plans to make Crimea an economic zone and major destination for tourism.
“Our aim is to make the peninsula as attractive as possible to investors, so that it can generate sufficient income for its own development. There are opportunities for this – we have taken everything into consideration,” Medvedev said in a televised conference. “And so we have decided to create a special economic zone here. This will allow for the use of special tax and customs regimes in Crimea, and also minimize administrative procedures.”
Medvedev has expressed no intention of returning Crimea to Ukraine as Kiev and the United States have requested. Instead, the Prime Minister has begun the process of increasing wages for the 140,000 state workers and improve pensions reports SRN News.
Russia’s acquiring of Crimea has been a heavy financial burden on the country, with the region relying on Russia for 85 percent of its electricity and 90 percent of its drinking water. Crimea currently has a deficit of approximately $1.5 billion. But Medvedev believes that the region’s potential for tourism will make it self-reliant.