China in talks over $3bn Crimean port investment

Chinese investors have resumed talks with the government of the Crimea over the construction of a deep-water port near Yevpatoria, about 40km north-west of Sevastopol. 

This scheme, which has a price tag of $3bn, was originally discussed in December last year, when the peninsula was still part of the Ukraine. The deal has now been finalised and according to Rustam Temirgaliev, Crimea’s first deputy prime minister, it will go ahead once the province’s water supply has been secured and it has adopted the Russian rouble rather than the Ukrainian hryvnia, a change that is to be complete by January 2016.

The port is part of a $10bn investment programme that China is planning for the Crimea, which has become a de facto part of the Russian Federation after a referendum in March. Other schemes under discussion include oil complexes, grain elevators and gas liquefaction plants; China may also lease Crimean agricultural land.

Russia and China this month agreed on a 30-year, $400bn gas pipeline deal.  

It was recently revealed that Russia was planning to invest $4.5bn a year to upgrade Crimea’s energy, water and transport networks.   

Chinese and Russian parties will discuss the port project again in August.

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