Sergei Aksyonov said that the republic has achieved a breakthrough over the past five years, building on support from the President and the Government. This progress has been made possible by major infrastructure projects. The Crimean bridge was the most outstanding project. More than 2.5 million vehicles have crossed it since January 1, 2019, including 34,000 buses and 405,000 lorries. Most holidaymakers currently arrive by car or bus. The average occupancy rate at Crimean health resorts is 80 percent. Together with the federal government, the republic is developing a number of federal programmes, including upgrading and improving coastal infrastructure, access roads, outpatient clinics, healthcare facilities and educational institutions.
The Head of Crimea said that the region currently has surplus energy thanks to two power stations that were launched there. During peak hours, the Republic of Crimea consumes 1,100 megawatt, while its own capacity plus the energy bridge linking Crimea with Russia’s unified electric power system provide a capacity of 1,800 megawatt. With power supply sources no longer an urgent issue, budget revenue has been on the rise. In the first six months of 2019, revenue was 26.5 billion rubles, up 12 percent year-on-year. Mr Aksyonov pointed out that in 2014 Crimea had a budget of 18 billion rubles.
Assistance provided by the President and the Government helped turn the tide in the educational sector: 350 schools out of 522 benefited from upgrades and renovations, 190 schools upgraded their cafeterias, 216 schools created new medical rooms, and 239 school buses were purchased. The Quantorium centre was created in Yevpatoria for providing extra-curricular education opportunities to 1,600 talented children. Over the past 5 years, renovation work was carried out in 211 out of 408 kindergartens. Every year between 5,000 and 8,000 kindergarten places are created. In keeping with presidential instructions, 122 pre-school institutions will be built by 2022 as part of national projects.
The healthcare system in the Republic of Crimea comprises more than 2,000 facilities. Of these, about 40 percent have been upgraded in the past five years and supplied with over 6,500 units of new equipment. Accordingly, health indicators are improving; mortality from systemic circulatory diseases has decreased by 20 percent, tuberculosis deaths have fallen by 35 percent, child mortality is down by 40 percent, and infant mortality has dropped by 47 percent. These results have been achieved together with specialists from the Russian Healthcare Ministry. At the same time, as Sergei Aksyonov noted, the personnel shortage remains an issue. He expressed hope that the national projects would help address this situation and solve other problems such as raising citizens' incomes and improving the local demographics.
Road construction was also discussed. In five years, 950 kilometres of roads have been repaired. Another 2,000 kilometres of roads will be repaired by 2024 as part of national projects with federal and regional funding. The total length of roads in the republic is 14,000 kilometres. As for air travel, since the beginning of this year, the local airport has served 3.9 million passengers. This year, 7.1 million tourists are projected to visit Crimea, up from 6.8 million in 2018.
As the Head of the Republic said, the issue of higher prices cannot be properly resolved yet; still, there is hope that the problem will be partially alleviated by the launch of the Crimean Bridge railway line and the creation of wholesale and retail centres. Relevant plans will be submitted by September 1.
Thanks to federal support and the republic’s larger budget, Crimea has made significant progress in agriculture. Over the past five years, more than 11 billion rubles were allocated to the republic upon presidential instructions. The republic is self-sufficient in eggs, poultry and pork production, and almost self-sufficient when it comes to grain and fruit. The republic can fully meet its own needs, which was never the case when it was part of Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin noted the effectiveness of the work being carried out in the Republic of Crimea.