Russia to create special economic zone in Crimea to woo investors

March 31, 2014 18:07

SIMFEROPOL, Crimea - Russia plans to make Crimea a special economic zone offering tax breaks and reduced bureaucracy to attract investors, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday.

"Our aim is to make the peninsula as attractive as possible to investors, so that it can generate sufficient income for its own development," Medvedev told a Russian government meeting on the Black Sea peninsula, which Moscow has annexed from Ukraine.

The absorption of Crimea and its 2 million residents creates an added financial burden on Russia, which is struggling with slow growth and facing Western sanctions over what the United States and European Union say is an illegal land grab.

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