MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Many Western companies are highly interested in making investments in Crimea, as the peninsula's economic potential is huge, Russian Minister for Crimean Affairs Oleg Savelyev said Monday.
"The entire world is interested in Crimea. But many, including Europeans, cannot enter [the market] due to the existing sanctions. Nevertheless, many businessmen and companies from various countries come to the peninsula – from Turkey, Israel, the Netherlands, Finland, and Italy. And there is nothing strange about that – the economic potential of the peninsula in impressive," Savelyev told RIA Novosti.
- I respect the right of Crimeans to self-determination. It helped to avoid humanitarian catastrophe that is currently unfolding in southeastern Ukraine.70.5% (1912)
- I condemn this referendum, as it has destabilized the entire region and reduced the international credibility of Russia.10.0% (272)
- I think in geopolitical terms, it has helped strengthen Russia's security and stabilize the situation in the region.19.5% (530)
In March 2014, Crimea, previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, voted for reunification with Russia, after it refused to recognize the new Kiev authorities that came to power as a result of the February coup.
Crimea rejoined Russia after a referendum, with 96 percent of voters in the region supporting the move.
The European Union, alongside the United States and their allies refused to recognize Crimea's reunification with Russia, saying it violated Ukraine's territorial integrity and introduced several rounds of economic sanctions against Moscow.
The Kremlin said that Crimea's reunification with Russia did not breach any international laws, adding that the move was triggered by the need to protect the peninsula's ethnic Russian population.