24 March, 14:47

Crimea may get special economic zone status - Medvedev

Crimea may get special economic zone status - Medvedev

Crimea could be granted the status of a special economic zone, saya Russian Prime, Minister Dmitry Medvedev. "We will need to provide additional preferences to the new Russian regions. I think that it is possible to consider the issue of establishing a special economic zone in Crimea," Medvedev said at a meeting dedicated to social and economic development for Crimea and Sevastopol on Monday.

During the transition period, scheduled for Crimea's integration into Russia's social and economic life and set to last until January 1, 2015, enterprises working in Crimea under Russian jurisdiction could be relieved of paying taxes, the prime minister said. It is necessary "to get down to issuing patents for business activities without delay," Medvedev said.

Russian government mulls special economic status for Crimea – Medvedev

Crimea may be granted special economic status. A separate federal program for the republic’s economic and social development may be prepared, the Vedomosti newspaper reports, quoting Russian government sources. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is due to meet with his deputies on Monday to discuss development prospects for Crimea and Sevastopol with Vice Premier Dmitry Kozak, who is expected to be put in charge of the matter. Kozak will submit his proposals at the meeting where First Vice Premier Igor Shuvalov and Vice Premier Dmitry Rogozin will also be in attendance.

The Regional Development Ministry is likely to oversee the state-run segment of a possible future federal program for Crimea, including social and infrastructure projects. Tourism, agriculture and port services will receive priority, according to the newspaper.

An Olympstroi-style state-controlled corporation on Crimea's development may be founded.

Earlier, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wrote in his blog that ensuring the harmonious development of Crimea and Sevastopol was a primary task and that the government would be working on it. Much important work needs to be done after Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to join Russia in the March 16 referendum, he said.

"But the referendum is already a thing of the past. Today, it's important to focus on how to implement its decisions, how to build life further… This concerns everyone," Medvedev said.

Crimean salaries, pensions to be paid out at March 18 hryvna/ruble rate - Medvedev

All public sector salaries and pensions in Crimea will be paid according to the prevailaing exchange rate on March 18, 2014, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

"Salaries for public sector workers, pensions and allowances will be paid out at the ruble to hryvnia rate valid on the date of incorporation, i.e. March 18 this year," he said at a meeting that focused on socio-economic support for Crimea and Sevastopol on Monday.

Raising Crimean pensions first priority - Medvedev

Crimean pensions must be raised to the average Russian level, to achieve that the government may allocate substantial funds before the end of 2014, said Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev.

"Our first priority is to raise pensions for residents of the new territories to the general Russian level. By preliminary calculations, about 36 billion rubles are expected to be allocated for this purpose before the end of this year.

The budget has the resources, they have been planned," Medvedev said at a meeting which focused on the provision of socio-economic assistance to Crimea and Sevastopol.

Russia’s goal is friendly relations with Ukraine, not escalation of situation - PM Medvedev

Crimea and Sevastopol have made their choice, now all of us need to think how to move on, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev said. According to him, no one in Russia wants to aggravate the situation, and Moscow's goal is friendly relations with Ukraine and other neighbors.

"The people of Crimea (Russians, Ukrainians, and Tatars) expressed their position at the referendum. The referendum is history already. So are the decisions adopted at it. Now it is important to think of how to move on. Taking into account the current political and legal realities. This applies to all. The so-called new government in Kiev.

The leadership of the Western countries. Russia in general and its new territories," the head of the Russian government wrote on his page in Facebook on Friday.

"None of us wants to aggravate the situation. On the contrary, our goal is friendly relations with Ukraine and other neighbors of Russia. And, of course, harmonious development of Crimea and Sevastopol in the structure of our state," he stressed.

Voice of Russia, TASS, RIA, Interfax

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