Russia forms commission to drive Crimea's development

Russia forms commission to drive Crimea
# 22 April 2014 00:52 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The Russian government had set up a commission to manage the social-economic development of the newly adopted republic of Crimea and city of Sevastopol, the Kremlin press service said Monday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The 45-member commission chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak will deal with bringing the living standards of the regions' residents up to the Russian average.

Among the measures proposed, the government will open more than 200 branches of Russian banks in the region, reduce the peninsula's perennial water deficiencies and open a branch of the Russian Academy of Science.

In a separate move, President Vladimir Putin proposed Monday to make Crimea the country's fifth gambling zone, alongside Altai, Krasnodar, Maritime and Kaliningrad regions.

Earlier April, the Russian government announced plans to create a special economic zone in Crimea, which would grant the region tax preferences, modern transport, social, customs and other infrastructure, a free trade regime, reduced administrative barriers, access to qualified personnel, simplified migration regimes and other preferences.

Also Monday, the government ordered the Russian agency for development of border facilities, Rosgranitsa, to inspect maintenance of facilities along the Crimea-Ukraine border.

"Crimea is Russia now and forever. The checkpoints must meet all Russian standards," Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told the agency's meeting.

Formerly a Ukrainian autonomous republic, Crimea and Sevastopol became Russian regions in mid-March following a popular referendum recognized by Moscow but rejected by Ukraine and many Western countries.

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