Crimea 'Could Be Special Economic Zone,' Says Russian PM
Crimea, which joined Russia last week, could become a special economic zone, Russia's Prime Minister said.
With his comments, Dmitry Medvedev confirmed earlier reports by Russian newspaper Vedomosti, which suggested the peninsula would be managed through a separate economic program and even by a "special corporation".
The newspaper, citing federal officials, claimed Crimea will be granted a similar status to the Baltic region of Kaliningrad, which received special designation in 1991.
Residents of the exclave were exempted of property and income taxes for the first six years. A "special fiscal regime" will also be in force until April 1, 2031.
No suggestions have so far been made for Crimea's regime, but the officials believe it could be extended up to 49 years.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who was also in charge of the preparations for the Sochi Olympics, is expected to be responsible for Crimea's development.
The idea has previously been voiced by Crimea's Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov.
Economic and fiscal re-adjustments seem to be under way now on the peninsula, as ITAR-TASS reported Monday that Russia's rouble has become its official currency.
The rouble will be used in the payment of all salaries, taxes, insurances and transfers to the budget. Ukraine's hryvnia will be in use intil January 1, 2016.
Crimea considers itself an official part of Russia after its population voted on March 16 to break away from Ukraine and join the federation.