Russia Says Crimea Lost $23Bln From Ukraine’s ‘Annexation’

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Russian lawmakers have accused Ukraine of bringing 1.5 trillion rubles ($23 billion) in losses to the Crimean economy in the 23 years that the peninsula was part of independent Ukraine.

The assessment comes from the State Duma’s newly established task force to measure damages under what it labels Ukraine’s “annexation” of Crimea between 1991 — the fall of the Soviet Union — and 2014 — when Russia annexed the peninsula. 

The earliest “most conservative” estimates say that Ukraine’s “annexation” had cost Crimea 1.5 trillion rubles over 23 years, Andrei Kozenko, a Russian Duma deputy from Crimea, was cited as saying late Wednesday.

The figure includes the $100 million per year that Russia spent to maintain a naval base there, as well as the extrapolated difference between Crimea’s revenue under Russia and Ukraine, Interfax cited Kozenko as saying.

“We [also] need to assess the moral damage over the years of Ukrainian occupation of Crimea. For example, we can include infringement of the rights of the Russian-speaking population,” Kozenko said.

Ukraine, meanwhile, has assessed the damage from Russia’s annexation of Crimea at $100 billion.

Crimea became part of the Russian Empire in 1783. It was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954 under Soviet leader Nikolai Khrushchev.

Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula in 2014 in what it calls a reunification with its historical territory.

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