All going well in Crimea, Russia
By Lesedi Thatayamodimo
Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Botswana, Mr Victor Sibilev says Botswana and Crimea peninsula share the same development challenges though some miles apart.
He said challenges such as shortage of water were similar, noting that with about the same population, Crimea peninsula share the same climatic conditions as Botswana.
Addressing the media on the fifth anniversary of the reunification of Crimea with Russia on March 19, Ambassador Sibilev stated that the allegations that Russian authorities supposedly impede visiting the Crimea peninsula were untrue.
Mr Sibilev said Crimea and Sevastopol were part of the Russian Federation, noting that Russia notes with satisfaction the growing number of people having unbiased opinion on the situation in Crimea, and the interest in cooperating with it from foreign businesses, civil society and political circles.
He pointed out that the trend was reflected in the ever increasing number of foreign delegations, as well as in tangible results of a wide range of international events on the peninsula.
Ambassador Sibilev said the most informative and productive was the Yalta International Economic Forum that was a platform for a constructive discussion of the Crimean issue and promotion of investment opportunities on the peninsula.
He mentioned that regardless of systematic malicious speculations, Crimea enjoys an atmosphere of inter-ethic accord characterised by consideration for all ethnic minorities.
Ambassador Sibilev pointed out that the government of Russia guarantees the unconditional observance of international obligations in the fields of human rights.
He said the multi-ethnic population of Crimea fully exercises its rights to freedom of speech, assembly and mother –tongue medium education, with the Crimea Tatar and Ukrainian languages having official status.
Furthermore he stated that the Crimean Tatars were represented in all government bodies of the peninsula, such as security and law enforcement agencies in proportion to their share in Crimea’s population.
Meanwhile Ambassador Sibilev stated that Crimea’s social economic was improving, adding that in 2018, the Simferopol International Airport came into operation, which significantly increased the passenger transport capacity of the peninsula, and that also in 2015/2016, 520km of Crimean roads were repaired.
He said there were plans to update 700 more kilometers of roads by 2021.
Among other things he mentioned was the opening of the Crimean Bridge for road traffic in May 2018, that he mentioned has significantly benefited the dynamics of Crimea’s socio-economic development.
To ensure stable water supply for the population of Crimea, Ambassador Sibilev said 100km of new water pipelines have been built, and the creation of a multi-pipe water conduit for the replenishment of North Crimean Canal would be completed by 2020.
He also mentioned that the problem of power supply in Crimea was now successfully resolved, noting that the Federal Special Purpose Programme, The Social and Economic Development of the Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol until 2011, with a budget of about 1 trillion roubles has been implemented since 2015.
“Its growth rates are among the highest in the country” said Ambassador Sibilev, adding that the positive dynamics was being observed in almost all main sectors of Crimean economy along with sustainable regional budget revenue increase, residential development was gaining momentum, signs of industrial and agricultural recovery were visible , and traditionally important resort and tourism were flourishing.
Ambassador Sibilev also indicated that since Crimea’s reunion with Russia actual wages of people working in the public sector as well as pensions and allowances in Crimea have increased by 2–2.5 times and approached to the all-Russian level.