BERLIN, April 10 Russia's deputy prime minister
has said Moscow may change its budget rules to cope with an
additional population of about 2 million people in Crimea, the
Ukrainian Black Sea territory annexed by Russian troops last
First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told German daily
Die Welt in an interview published on Thursday, when he attended
a business conference in Berlin, that Crimea needed investment
in infrastructure that could not be covered by existing funds.
"When a country gets 2 million new people ... which need big
investments, this cannot be done by just diverting funds from
existing state programmes," he was quoted as saying, adding that
the roads and ports required "serious investments".
Russian budget rules limit government borrowing to no more
than 1 percent of output and link spending to the long-term oil
price. But Shuvalov said: "I think it's right for this rule to
be changed for two million new Russian citizens in Crimea."
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Stephen Brown)