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Russia

How The Rest Of Russia Will Pay For Crimea

Though denied by Putin, there is evidence emerging that investment projects elsewhere in Russia are being held up in order to divert funds to projects in newly annexed Crimea.

In Murmansk
In Murmansk
Yulia Gallyamova, Anatoly Dzhumailo and Kirill Melnikov

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin declared publicly last week that investment in recently annexed Crimea would not come at the expense of other government projects. Still, it appears that reducing investment in other regions cannot be avoided. Cuts have been proposed in transportation investment in the Murmansk region in Northern Russian, with the money saved to be used to develop Black Sea ports in Russia and Crimea.

Earlier this month, Vice Premier Arkady Dvorkovich held a meeting regarding the necessary investments in Crimea, which would largely consist of extending railroads to the Black Sea ports. During the meeting, Dvorkovich conceded that at least 31.5 billion rubles ($870 million) would have to be cut from other federal programs in order to pay for the Black Sea infrastructure projects.

Last Thursday, Putin announced that the expenses for infrastructure projects in Crimea would come from the government’s reserves, adding: “We don’t have to cut anything from other programs.”

Earlier, the finance ministry had said that the government surplus would be 240 billion rubles ($6.7 billion) in 2014 and 80 billion rubles ($2.2 billion) in 2015. Not including the infrastructure projects, the subsidized programs in Crimea this year are estimated to cost around 100 billion rubles ($2.8 billion).

Dvorkovich’s spokesperson was not available for comment, nor were representatives from the Ministry of Finance or Transportation. Sources who were present at the meeting with Dvorkovich say that taking funds from the Murmansk transportation projects for the Black Sea ports was not discussed, and don’t know why the discussion was included in the official minutes.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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