The Prime Minister informed the President of the upcoming Government resolutions regarding the procedures for paying salaries, pensions, social benefits and cash allowances to military service members and employees of law enforcement agencies in Crimea.
According to the Prime Minister, decisions are to be made shortly regarding the development of a territorial executive authority network in the republic.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Medvedev, we have already started discussing issues pertaining to the accession of Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia. We have been talking about it for a while, but time has come for practical measures.
As you may know, the Defence and Interior Ministers, the Head of the Investigative Committee and the Director of the Federal Security Service have been there this week, working on developing a corresponding regional system of security agencies in Crimea and Sevastopol.
However, the time has come to raise issues dealing with the development of the Crimean economy, with decision-making regarding governing structures and certain benefits that have to do with the region’s development.
I am confident that, given proper functioning of its economy, Crimea can and should become a self-sufficient and economically attractive area, rather than a recipient of federal aid. Clearly, we need to finalise (I know the Government is already working on this) decisions on social matters dealing with pensions, compensation and salaries.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, on Monday we had a big meeting involving practically all Government members, where I set several tasks regarding Crimea and Sevastopol that must be resolved promptly within the framework of these agreements and the resolutions passed at a higher level.
First of all this deals with the social sphere. This has to do with the people, and they are pinning great hopes on the accession to the Russian Federation. Therefore, in the very near term, our colleagues in the Government will make proposals and we will decide on the procedure to be used to pay pensions and social benefits, including those that used to be paid from the budget of Ukraine. We proceed from the notion that nobody should lose anything, everyone should only gain from the accession, with the introduction of a new procedure for salary payment both to civilian state employees, military service members and to employees of law enforcement agencies. We will make decisions on all social issues and will definitely make it known to the people in Crimea and Sevastopol.
As for the administrative system: on your instructions, the Government is working to develop a territorial executive authority network. Our objective is to create a reasonable and sufficient number of such bodies of authority, without overcomplicating the system, but also making sure that all territorial authorities are properly represented there. We will make these decisions in the next few days.
Regarding economic development: of course, the economy of Crimea is not as developed now as it could be. I fully agree that potentially Crimea can generate significant revenue that will be channelled into the region’s development.
We are using all possible instruments to achieve this, including tax benefits, which are currently under consideration, and the possibility of creating a special economic zone. Relevant instructions have been given and I will be hearing a report on the proposals shortly. Subsequently, the Government will make a report to the President.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.