SIMFEROPOL, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia plans to invest 20 billion rubles ($553 million) in Crimea's sports infrastructure in the next five years, Crimea’s acting Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov said Saturday.
"We have a complete Federal Targeted Program, according to which the Russian Federation would invest more than 20 billion roubles into the sports development [in Crimea] by 2020," Aksyonov told journalists at the celebration of 75 years of the Physical Education worker in Simpheropol.
He said the amount was stated in Russia's plan for the socio-economic development of the Crimean Federal District and would help build new sports facilities and renovate the existing ones, especially in rural areas.
"Our task is to provide the youth with opportunities to do sports, to take children away from the streets, and cure them of bad habits," Aksyonov said.
"We will implement the program within five years, and we are ready to bring up a healthy generation that would benefit Crimea and the Russian Federation," he added.
Crimean State Council Chairman Vladimir Konstantinov said the former the sports infrastructure of the former autonomous republic within Ukraine, which reunited with Russia in March, has deteriorated.
"Today, as part of Russia, Crimea has a unique opportunity to revive all of its sports infrastructure facilities, which have been destroyed in the past 23 years and have become outdated, and many sports have disappeared completely," Konstantinov said, adding that the infrastructure could be revived within three to four years.
The Black Sea peninsula refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev, which seized power as a result of a coup in February, and rejoined Russia after a referendum that saw over 96 percent of voters in the region back the motion to leave Ukraine.
Crimea and Sevastopol, which have a special status within the region, became subjects of the Russian Federation on March 21 after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed reunification documents into law.