19 Feb 2020 18:53

Crimea plans to finish calculation of damage from Ukrainian rule this year

SIMFEROPOL. Feb 19 (Interfax) - The working group of the Crimean State Council for evaluating the damage suffered by the peninsula during Ukrainian rule resumed working on Tuesday in a renewed composition after the parliamentary election.

"Today, we are resuming the work of the working group for evaluating the damage in the new cadence, we have a new composition, we have reinforced it with officials from several ministries, the Central Bank [...] We will achieve some result this year. I think it will be a perfectly clear indication of our work," Yefim Fiks, the head of the working group and first deputy speaker of the Crimean parliament, told reporters.

The Crimean working group focused on theoretical issues last year and it intends "to start more practical work" in 2020, he said.

Crimea was "chronically underfinanced" during the "Ukrainian period," social obligations were not observed, the quality of roads, water supply, etc., declined, he said.

Crimean State Council Chair Vladimir Konstantinov said in the meeting that "the price of the claims is very high, it will be in the billions of dollars." A lawsuit will be prepared after the damage is estimated, he said.

Olga Baldina, the head of the Federal State Service's Directorate for Crimea and Sevastopol (Krymstat), gave some economic indicators of Crimea in the "Ukrainian period."

The wear of the main assets in some industries of the economy reached 69.7% in 1990-2013, the number of working Crimeans went down more than 60%, many large industrial enterprises closed, the area under perennial plantings went down six times, the area under vineyards went down 3.5 times, and "the indicator of putting into operation preschool establishments was non-existent as such" in 1996-2012, she said.

Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin first stated the idea of calculating the damage suffered by Crimea under Ukrainian rule on March 16, 2019, in Simferopol, where he was attending the celebrations of the fifth anniversary of the reunification of Crimea with Russia. Special working groups were formed in the State Duma and in the Crimean State Council to study the matter.

The Crimean group of experts published the first results of the work to estimate the damage in summer 2019. In particular, the amount of profits lost in 23 years was stated, 2.5 trillion rubles.

Ivan Melnikov, the head of the State Duma working group and first deputy speaker of the State Duma, told Interfax in July an evaluation of three areas deforestation, housing and utilities sector and the condition of social establishments, had shown a damage worth $2 billion.