The issue opens with an interview of Georgy Poltavchenko, Governor of St. Petersburg. “Our business community demonstrates a fairly high interest in Crimea,” the Governor of Russia’s northern capital said. “Today, Crimea’s energy sector needs to be modernized, and St. Petersburg is a recognized power engineering center. In particular, a St. Petersburg investor plans to build a power plant in Feodosia to use ocean wave energy. Our manufacturers of agricultural equipment also have big plans for Crimea. The peninsula’s agriculture is developing, and the Kirov plant’s new tractors are virtually the best in the world, they do not fall short in any way of the equipment by the world’s best manufacturers.”
Mr. Poltavchenko stressed that the Yalta International Economic Forum is held with the participation of ProxyCentre, a St. Petersburg company that also participates in preparations for Russia’s largest St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “I am certain that the YIEF is a topical, essential event that will increase in significance,” the Governor noted. “Such venues allow business to network directly, to find opportunities in other regions. This is why our delegation to the Yalta Forum is one of largest and most representative year in year out.”
Stefano Valdegamberi, an Italian businessman, a member of the Regional Council of Veneto, spoke to the magazine about his intention to start Russia’s first olive trees plantation in Crimea and to launch olive oil production. “This will be an end-to-end production, from olive seedlings to bottles of olive oil on a shop shelf,” Mr. Valdegamberi said. According to him, the project entails creating an olive trees plantation of no less than 100 hectares on Crimea’s southern coast. “We plan for a rather large plantation, not just a nominal one. We need the yield of Crimean olives to be enough to run a small olive pressing line and to make the entire project profitable. That requires a minimum of 100 hectares of olive trees. We are ready to prepare the soil in the spring of next year, to bring olive seedlings to Crimea, and to start the plantation at that time,” he said.
The block of articles on construction opens with an interview of Mikhail Men, Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities of Russia. The Minister noted positive trends in Crimea’s construction development. “Residential space built over three years has grown significantly,” Mr. Men emphasized. “Last year, it grew by 13% to 285,500 sq.m., while in Russia on average, it fell a bit (by 10.4%) compared to 2015. Of course, this is very little so far, but we have dynamics, and that means we have growth potential.”
The subject is continued in the interview of Sergey Aksyonov, Head of the Republic of Crimea, gave to Business Crimea. In the interview titled “Demand of Real Estate in Crimea Will Keep Growing,” Mr. Aksyonov stresses that Crimea is waiting for investors willing to work on large comprehensive development projects. Priority will be given to companies prepared to build affordable compact housing and to participate in building housing utilities infrastructure, as well as transportation infrastructure and social facilities. “Comprehensive development projects currently underway in the Republic of Crimea entail construction of about 1.8 million sq.m. of residential space,” Mr. Aksyonov said adding that these projects would only partially meet the region’s demand for new real estate, and the republican authorities are, therefore, interested in investors coming into the region.
Two Paris architects, Jocelyne Dubois Maury, Professor at the Institut d’Urbanisme de Paris, and Pierre Conroux, Deputy Director of the Department of urbanism and development in Creteil (a suburb of Paris), gave a big interview on global trends in urban development. The article titled “The Paris Route” tells about the work done by the Paris authorities on improving the urban environment: creating rooftop gardens, fighting the city’s segregation into rich and poor neighborhoods, construction of Europe’s largest automated subway line.
In an interview to the Business Crimea, Vladimir Voronin, President of Leader Financial and Construction Company, said, “Technical revolution in development is inevitable.” The head of a major federal developer (the company has a portfolio of more than 5.5 million sq.m.) spoke about crisis-prompted changes on the market and on the housing demand evolution in Russia. “Over the last ten years, buyers’ preferences have changed greatly,” Mr. Voronin noted. “No one is just buying an apartment anymore. Clients want to be able to make their living space unique (today, it means both entrance spaces and courtyard spaces). Developers must think about city residents’ comfort, create a favorable environment for them.”
Three articles in the Construction and Development section tell about the region’s three largest comprehensive development projects. The magazine interviewed directors of Monolit Company Group (Krymskaya Roza residential estate, 1.1 million sq.m., 32 billion rubles in investment), Vladograd Company Group (Zhigulina Roshcha residential estate, 500,000 sq.m., 20 million rubles in investment), and Karbon Company Group (Gorod Mira residential estate, 340,000 sq.m., 6 million rubles in investment).
“Crimean TPP will be the most cutting-edge in Russia,” Andrey Cherezov, Deputy Minister of Energy of Russia, told Business Crimea. “Design solutions we have developed feature cutting-edge technologies, and we use high-efficiency, environmentally safe equipment. Traditional TPP have 42% efficiency at best. Crimea’s TPP will have efficiency of no less than 51.5%. Air emissions will be minimal: flared gas will be disposed of in steam turbines.”
The Large Business section features an exclusive interview of Dmitry Purim, Chairman of the Board of Sovfracht. In addition to working in the Arctic Ocean and in the Pacific, Sovfracht accounts for no less than 50% of cargo shipping to Crimean ports. Mr. Purim is confident, “When the bridge has been built, Crimean ports will have a major development impetus. Today, we greatly need ports in the south of Russia. I think Crimea should become Russia’s largest transshipping hub. That requires a systemic state policy, that policy should ensure that a railway tariff to Sevastopol is the same as to Novorossiysk.”
“The Yachting Capital” is an article about constructing a large yachting marina in Balaklava with berths for more than 650 60-meter yachts. The project developed under the instructions from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin should increase tourist flow into Balaklava and make the town an international tourism and yachting center.
The Travel section tells about touring the mountainous Crimea on “two-wheel” off-roaders, Enduro class motorcycles intended for off-road use.
“There is no politics in space!” the astronaut Andrey Borisenko told Business Crimea. The Hero of Russia described life at the international space station and what G-force feels like; he spoke about calling families and about a possible format of the Moon base.
“Artek’s New Heart” describes creating Artek Arena, Crimea’s largest variety and concert complex with the capacity of 4,500 people. “We would like Artek Arena to host a meeting of ‘Artekers’ with G20 leaders. I am certain that sooner or later, they will assemble in Crimea, and then our children will be able to show them how to achieve peace and harmony,” Alexey Kasprzhak, Director General of Arket, told Business Crimea.
“America … is and will be grateful to Russia…” These were the words American travelers, including the famous writer Mark Twain, addressed to Emperor Alexander II. The article in the History section tells about the first ever ocean cruise, Americans’ trip to Crimea, and the meeting with the Emperor in Yalta.
“Music taught me to improve myself,” Arina Novoselskaya, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Crimea, told Business Crimea. In a large interview published in the Faces of Crimea section, the Minister spoke about her long career as a pianist and about her plans to give a concert in Crimea. Arina Novoselskaya’s photograph is on the magazine’s cover.
“Yalta is better than Nice,” a headline in the Legacy section, comes from a letter by Anton Chekhov. Yalta was the writer’s healer and sanctuary; it forced his disease into remission and gave Chekhov back his vigor. It was on the southern coast of Crimea that Chekhov wrote the gems of the world’s drama: Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. The article tells of Chekhov’s first acquaintance with Crimea, about the writer’s three Crimean homes, the Moscow Art Theater’s first tour, and about the writer helping Yalta and its residents.
“A Maestro of Light” tells about Arkhip Kuindzhi. His career in art started when he studied in Ivan Aivazovsky’s Feodosia workshop, and then Kuindzhi went back to Crimea many times; he painted over 50 Crimean landscapes and set up several ateliers on the southern coast both for himself and for his many students.