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Center for Journalist Investigations Exposes Russia’s Attempts to Shield Companies Working in Crimea from Western Sanctions

February 16 – The Center for Journalist Investigations (CJI) of the Crimea Information and Press Center (IPC), in the second segment of the 14th episode of this season’s “Issues of National Security” TV program, looked at the efforts of Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development to establish special administrative districts in Crimea where companies can carry out investment activities under special security conditions. Companies participating in the special administrative districts project have no restrictions for registration but are obliged to operate in and have offices exclusively in Crimea. The amount of capital investment from each participating company should be at least 150 million Russian rubles (US$2,037,000).

According to CJI, the purpose of this legislative initiative is to conceal information about companies that invest in the Crimean economy (special administrative districts) in violation of EU and US sanctions. CJI pointed out that Russia applied this scheme of data classification before, when it closed the register of enterprises of the defense and industrial complex in September 2015. In 2019, the Russian government passed a decision not to place information in the state register of legal entities about companies that are under sanctions that are located in Crimea.

In CJI’s view, the secrecy of data on investors in Crimea’s economy is convenient primarily for Putin’s allies, who illegally purchased expropriated Ukrainian assets such as the Massandra corporation, the New World champagne factory, Koktebel winery, and resorts like the Dulber, Glitsynia, Lower Oreanda, and others. Another reason is the need to attract private investors to sanctioned Crimea, to offset the huge expenditures for Russia as it subsidizes 85% of Crimea’s budget.

More on the website of CJI in Ukrainian.

In the photo: Glitsynia resort in Yalta, which was purchased by Putin’s sidekick bank “Russia”. Photo credit: Pavel Aleynikov