Today, prime Minister Medvedev in his meeting had this to say:
Last December we signed a few documents that have not been amended or cancelled by anyone. This includes the project to build a transport corridor via the Gulf of Kerch.
This is an important issue. Naturally both Russia and Ukraine are interested in a reliable and inexpensive link between the Taman Peninsula and Crimea that will help them open additional trade channels and develop joint investment projects. So in order to continue acting in this direction I’ve signed a Government directive on transferring the functions of the customer to a joint stock company that will deal with the relevant issues. Our company Rosavtodor is now establishing it. This decision is designed to bring this work to a practical level regardless of the current political circumstances.
If they are building a link road from Crimea to Russia, that gives Russia permanent access to its naval base without the need to transit through the rest of Ukraine. As the feeling in Kiev government seems to be anti-Russia, it made sense for Putin to put some feet on the ground to prevent interference there.
If Crimea is to become a permanent part of Russia, they need to start tackling financial issues. Anton Siluanov (Finance Minister) had this to say at the meeting:
“We met at the Russian Ministry of Finance with the Minister of Finance of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. We discussed Crimea’s problematic budget, with a shortage of about 10 billion hryvnias – about 35 billion roubles. We’re discussing financial cooperation and assistance to Crimea to ensure the stability of the financial system, the payment of salaries, pensions, allowances and other social benefits, and steady work of public sector agencies.”
So is this how this will pan out?
I’m only speculating, but this looks likely to me.
Any thoughts? Comments are welcome in the comment box below.