$18.7 Billion Russian Development Program for Crimea/Simferopol

According to the Russian media, Moscow has approved a federal development program in the amount of $18.7 billion (681 billion rubles) for Crimea as well as its capital, Simferopol, between now and 2020.  The amount represents over $3 billion in development aid annually.  Such a large-scale investment indicates the Kremlin’s desire to “showcase” the region’s economic prosperity following its annexation and in recognition of Crimea’s sizable offshore oil and gas deposits that have recently been annexed by Russia.  It has been estimated that Crimea’s offshore oil and gas deposits rival those of the North Sea.