The seventh edition of Business Crimea magazine, published with the support of the Yalta International Economic Forum Foundation, has recently come off the press. The new issue, mainly dedicated to YIEF 2017, was distributed at the Forum.
This edition opens with an exclusive interview by Sergey Aksyonov, Head of the Republic of Crimea. The key topic of the conversation with the head of the Region just before YIEF 2017 was the Region’s business environment, implementation of major infrastructure projects and operation of the Free Economic Zone created in Crimea. “At the moment, the State Duma is considering a number of draft federal laws to promote FEZ development and attract even more investors. They concern, among other issues, the possibility of FEZ participants using underground waters to support their production processes, and utilising natural resources for therapeutic and recreational purposes”, Mr Aksyonov pointed out.
The Head of the Republic of Crimea also highlighted that implementation of the Federal Target Programme for development of Crimea and Sevastopol had reached a new stage. “Last year, more than RUB 22 bn were allocated from the federal budget for FTP implementation. This year, the figures of over RUB 52 bn. We are going to put 115 facilities into operation during the year, including 58 priority ones under President’s personal control:, among them 15 kindergartens, two schools, 21 medical and obstetrical stations, 19 modular outpatient clinics, and a multipurpose republican medical centre at Yalta State Hospital No. 1. Until recently, it was largely about design and preparatory work, but now we are at the final construction stage. So, for us, the current year is a landmark in many respects”, the head of the Republic said.
The magazine features interviews with political figures from three EU countries who have shared their expectations from participation in the Yalta forum.
“Recent decades have been a time of fruitful cooperation between Russia and Austria. This consistent development was suddenly disrupted by the sanctions. In my opinion, we need to start all over again and bring our cooperation back to the same level. Interest in partnership with Russia is currently growing in Europe. Europe is starting to perceive Russia as a serious partner again. Austria, as a neutral country, should be at the cutting edge of this process”, Johannes Hubner, Member of the Austrian Parliament, said in an interview.
“The European Union has imposed sanctions on Russia under pressure from the USA, as the sanctions are not in line with internal European interests”, Italian senator Sergio Divina insists. “It was a hit at our pocket – especially for those who, like Italy, suffered from reduced exports to Russia.”
“Intense economic cooperation leads to mutual understanding between partners and mitigates any political differences”, said Laurentiu Rebega, a member of the European Parliament elected in Romania, in his interview for Business Crimea. “The Black Sea should be a region of friendship and partnership. Thanks to their proximity and complementary nature, Romania and Crimea have vast prospects for cooperation, especially in agriculture, tourism, services, production, high technologies and research”, the politician emphasized.
Italian senator Bartolomeo Amidei, representing the Forza Italia party led by Silvio Berlusconi, stated that, in his opinion, participation in YIEF was “a signal for the whole world of improved relations between Italy and Russia”. “Numerous businesses might be coming to Crimea earlier than we expect. Meanwhile, more favourable conditions for investors should be created here by cutting the red tape, simplifying the foodstuffs export and import procedure, and attracting tourists to beaches and cities”, the senator highlighted.
In their interviews, Veniamin Kondratyev, Governor of Krasnodar Territory, and Yury Berg, Governor of the Orenburg Region, focused on the prospects for developing interregional cooperation. “We have something to learn from each other, have an opportunity to create joint projects. Our neighbours possess huge resources for balneotherapy, which is currently a priority for Kuban’s sanatorium and health resort industry. These are areas of common interest for us to exchange experience. We have our famous Kuban wine, while our neighbours –Crimean ones. But we still have to join our efforts to address the issues of import phaseout and supplying high-quality products to all the people of Russia”, Mr Kondratyev pointed out. The Governor of the Orenburg Region, in turn, outlined the most promising areas of partnership: creation of joint agricultural enterprises, collaboration in investment, cooperation in upgrading the transport and road infrastructure, and increasing logistics potential.
“YIEF Uniting Businesses” is the title of the interview given by Sergey Lazutkin, Director of the YIEF Foundation. Speaking about the YIEF 2017 agenda, he said: “Compared to last year’s Forum, a wider range of topics is to be discussed. Last year, we put the emphasis on economics, interregional cooperation, infrastructure project development and presentation of the Republic’s investment potential. This year, we are focusing on such global issues as nature conservation technologies and space exploration.”
Roscosmos is preparing manned space missions into lunar orbit and to the satellites of Mars – this is what Sergey Krikalev, Executive Director of Roscosmos for manned space missions, discusses in his interview. “The design of the new spacecraft, Federation, allows it to leave low Earth orbit and fly to the Moon, for example”, Mr Krikalev reminded the readers. “We are talking about flying into lunar orbit without landing on the Moon’s surface. A machine would go down and take soil samples instead. The next step is Mars or its satellites. They are of great interest, just like the satellites of other large planets. These satellites are similar to Earth in certain parameters. They are easier to reach and land on. Asteroids or small planets are another area of interest.”
The account of the air terminal complex construction at Simferopol Airport published under the title “New Gates of Crimea” is another key text of the new edition. The article states that the complex, with a total area of 78 thousand sq. m., will leave behind not only Platov Airport in Rostov-on-Don (50.1 thousand sq. m.), but also Sochi airport (62 thousand sq. m.). More than 50% of the future facility’s metal structures have already been erected and the new air terminal complex will welcome its first passengers in just one year.
The Investment Project section continues with an article concerning the plans of the Gorkunov Group to invest RUB 3.5 bn in construction of a modern greenhouse facility in Crimea’s Belogorsk District. “We are planning to get our first harvest of 1,450 tonnes of tomatoes as soon as 2018, once the first stage of the project is completed. In 2019, we expect a harvest of about 10,750 tonnes, and then – up to 15 thousand tonnes a year. We are going to supply tomatoes to the internal Crimean market and to other Russian regions”, stated Irina Beloglazova, director of the project operator company.
A piece headlined “Crimean Bridge: Ahead of Schedule” published in the Infrastructure section tells about construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge. “More than 180 companies from all over Russia are involved in building the Crimean Bridge. Another several thousand medium-sized and small enterprises are supporting the project indirectly”, according to the article.
Businessman Alexander Lebedev, who has invested more than EUR 200 m in his Crimean projects, has told Business Crimea about two new projects: the Sea Garden naturopathic clinic in Alushta and a national healthy eating café chain Petrushka. “That’s a healthy eating format affordable for everybody in Russia: the average bill at our cafes will be about RUB 100 . We are planning to start with small towns where no McDonald’s or Burger King restaurants have been opened because of the small population and low incomes”, the businessman said.
Why does the Black Sea “preserve” sunken vessels? How to hand-feed fish? Where are the most interesting underwater objects located? The answers to these questions can be found in a text dedicated to diving near the Crimean coast published in the Travel section and entitled “The Attraction of the Blue”.
“It was suggested that I open my chess school in Moscow but I prefer Crimea”, Sergey Karyakin, the most famous young chess player and grand master said. The chess player pointed out that about 500 children would be able to study at the school at a time and promised to deliver regular lectures to the students.
The Legacy section is dedicated to Empress Maria Feodorovna Romanova, who was the most influential person in the country following the death of her husband Alexander III, having gathered the best minds of the state around her and acting as advisor to her son, young Emperor Nicholas II. She was the only one of the reigning Romanovs to survive the Revolution and, in April 1919, after eighteen months of actual captivity in Crimea, she left the ruined Empire to spend her last years in Denmark. But Russia remained her home, where she was loved for her devotion, mercy, open and strong character and natural charm.
The Legacy section features a piece entitled “Grinlandia Peninsula” telling about the life and work of Alexander Grin, who spent a significant part of his life in Crimea. Crimea’s cities, such as Sevastopol, Balaklava, Yalta, and Feodosia, served as prototypes for the fictional cities where Grin’s stories and novels are set.