Russia to create special economic zone in Crimea to woo investors

Russia will make Crimea a special economic zone offering tax breaks and reduced bureaucracy to attract investors, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday.

“Our aim is to make the peninsula as attractive as possible to investors, so that it can generate sufficient income for its own development,” Medvedev told a Russian government meeting on the Black Sea peninsula, which Moscow has annexed from Ukraine.

Medvedev said pensions for Crimeans would be raised gradually over the coming months until they reach the national level, and promised upgrades of the peninsula’s roads and other infrastructure.

But his remarks indicated the Kremlin hopes Crimea, which he said had “colossal prospects” for tourism income, will become self-sufficient in fairly short order.

“There are opportunities for this – we have taken everything into consideration,” Medvedev said. He said the special economic zone “will allow for the use of special tax and customs regimes in Crimea, and also minimise administrative procedures.”

“(I’m) in Simferopol,” Medvedev said on Twitter after his plane landed in the main city in the region. “Today the government will discuss the development of Crimea here.”

The visit is likely to irk Kiev and Western governments which accuse Moscow of illegally seizing Crimea from Ukraine after the region voted to join Russia in a referendum they described as a sham.

Full article: Russia to create special economic zone in Crimea to woo investors (World Bulletin)

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