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Crimean government preps for economic independence from Ukraine

Friday, Mar 28, 2014 - 01:24

March 28 - Crimean first deputy prime minister Rustam Temirgaliev predicts economic boom on the peninsula, says energy sector is a concern. Nathan Frandino reports.

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As Crimea settles under its new unification with Russia, the government is taking its first steps to economic independence from Ukraine. Crimea's first deputy prime minister is convinced that economic growth is on the horizon. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) CRIMEAN FIRST DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER RUSTAM TEMIRGALIEV SAYING: "We expect an economic boom, an economic growth. Unfortunately, as a part of Ukraine, Crimea was a region where the rates of development and per capita income were below average. The population is rather poor, the infrastructure is rather underdeveloped. We hope that finally all of this will change." Energy is among the government's top priorities. Technical problems in parts of Crimea though have caused blackouts, underlining the region's vulnerability. Crimea currently receives 80 percent of its electricity from Ukraine, but the government is preparing short- and long-term solutions. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) CRIMEAN FIRST DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER RUSTAM TEMIRGALIEV SAYING: "In the long-term, in particular in the next 2.5 years, we will build steam and gas electric power plants, which are currently being designed. These two power plants will completely resolve the problem of Crimea's power supply and we will even be able to export power outside the peninsula." Russia annexed Crimea more than a week ago after a referendum to leave Ukraine and join Russia.

Crimean government preps for economic independence from Ukraine

Friday, Mar 28, 2014 - 01:24

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