Business Opportunities in Crimea after Reunification with Russia
| Ashok Dixit, Editor - Foreign Affairs, IOP - 20 Mar 2019

Russian Embassy marks fifth anniversary of Crimea’s reunification


By Ashok Dixit (Editor, Foreign Affairs, IOP)

New Delhi, March 20, 2019: Russian Ambassador to India Nikolay Kudashev has called upon Indian businessmen to explore the vast opportunities the Crimean region has to offer after reunification with Russia.

Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev was speaking on the occasion to mark the fifth anniversary of Crimea’s reunification with Russia in a glittering reception held at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Delhi on Monday. The evening was attended by people from all walks of life, including members of the diplomatic community residing in the Indian capital, media and others.

Speaking on the occasion, Russia’s Ambassador to India, Mr Nikolay Kudashev, described the historic reunion of the Crimean Peninsula with the Russian Federation in 2104 as a significant date in Russia’s modern history.

“Today, Crimea is fully integrated into the political, social and economic space of Russia, with its legislation put in conformity with federal laws and legal practices. The federal program for social and economic development of the peninsula has been in place since 2015 and aims at addressing imbalances in regional development, upgrading living standards, strengthening inter-ethnic relations, boosting tourism and recreational facilities, enhancing infrastructure and connectivity with mainland Russia,” Ambassador Kudashev said.

He said that this landmark integration had been achieved despite several difficulties and controversy stirred up by “Western Media”.

Ambassador Kudashev said today “there is the strong interest in developing cooperation with the peninsula on the part of foreign parliamentary, business and socio-political circles, as well as representatives of culture, sports and the media.”

Emphatically maintaining that the change in Crimea’s political and legal status had been carried out in strict compliance with international law and current practices, the Russian envoy said that five years ago the people of Crimea had exercised their right to self-determination as guaranteed by the United Nations Charter.

They had, he said, unanimously and convincingly voted in favour of reunifying with the Russian Federation through the Treaty on the Admission of the Republic of Crimea into the Russian Federation that was signed in the Kremlin. This resulted in the establishment of two new constituent entities within Russia -- the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol.

In an indirect criticism of the Western powers, the ambassador said that it is surprising to hear “criticism from those who were directly indulging in aggressive and unprincipled politics” back in 1999 when the then unified country of Yugoslavia was being bombarded.

“Those irresponsible actions were a prelude to (the) tragic misadventures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria,” Ambassador Kudashev said in an apparent but indirect reference to the involvement of the United States in ongoing conflicts in those four countries.

Crimea today is a region where both federal and regional authorities are working to ensure the physical safety of its inhabitants; creating and promoting ethnic and religious peace and providing stable socio-economic development for all communities, including Russians, Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and representatives of other ethnicities who have lived on the peninsula since time immemorial, he said.

The ambassador made a special mention of the free economic zone in Crimea, which he said has already attracted investments of 2. 4 billion dollars spread across 184 projects in agriculture, transport, industrial facilities and tourism. This, he added, has created 14,000 new jobs.

The Yalta International Economic Forum held annually in April, he said, has also become an efficient platform for foreign business delegations to explore the vast potential of the peninsula across many sectors.

This year, the forum, he added, will focus on 199 such issues, including mastering tools of the digital economy, international cooperation for territorial development, investment in high-tech industries, preservation of cultural heritage, environmental protection and others.

Massive efforts were also being undertaken to ensure energy security in Crimea with the establishment and operation of two new high capacity thermal power plants.
The Russian envoy revealed that there are also plans to develop renewable sources with a focus on solar and wind energy as also to exploit the potential offered by the natural gas fields that lie in the Black Sea in South Crimea. He said the potential of these fields is quite substantial – up to seven million tons in annual production.

The authorities in the Crimea were implementing dozens of other strategic projects, including construction of new water pipelines and drilling of additional wells to ensure reliable and uninterrupted water supply, regular supply of food and medicines, improved passenger transportation via road, water and air.

He said that in 2018 alone, the Russian and Crimean authorities had successfully operationalised the Simferopol International Airport and the 19-kilometer- long Crimean Bridge. The latter, in particular, he said needs to be seen as a game changer for the social and economic development of the region.

From a tourism point of view, Crimea he said, is one of the most beautiful locations in Eastern Europe and had attracted 6.5 million tourists last year.

Monday evening’s reception concluded with a Russian cultural programme that enthralled the guests.

Image credit - CGTN / Russian Embassy, Delhi / FaceBook Page of Ambassador

Photo Caption - Ambassador Nikolay Kudashev addressing a reception at the Embassy of the Russian Federation on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Crimea's reunification with Russia.

(Ashok Dixit is a senior journalist with over 25 years of experience. He can be reached at

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