Die Welt: Crimea's Accession Will Cost Russia Billions
From economic point of view, there is no sense for Russia to annex Crimea, writes the German newspaper Die Welt.
The newspaper quotes Russia's finance minister Anton Siluanov who said that the annual deficit in Crimea's budget is around EUR 700 M and nearly half of it has been covered by Ukraine's state budget.
According to estimates, the GDP of Crimea, per person, is about 68% of the average GDP per person of Ukraine. Besides, the peninsula, which has no land connection with Russia, is highly dependent on water and electricity supplies from Ukraine.
Die Welt quotes the chief expert of the Ukrainian center for social and economic studies CASE Ukraine Vladimir Dubrovskii, who says that Crimea will not be able to attract tourists.
According to financial experts, Russia will have to spare at least EUR 2.1 B per annum for pensions and salaries. To this sum must be added the cost of necessary infrastructure projects, including a new gas pipeline and a railway bridge over the Kerch Strait, which will connect Crimea to Russia.