Russia is going to abandon the "humanitarian support" of the occupied part of Donbass in favor of financing projects in the annexed Crimea and Kaliningrad. This is reported by the Russian RBC with reference to the sources.
"The government (of the Russian Federation – ed.) is going to abandon the "humanitarian support of certain territories" in favor of financing projects in the Crimea and Kaliningrad. "Certain territories" refer to the Donbass", - the website writes.
The instruction to the Ministry of Finance of Russia "to fully exclude the expenses on rendering the humanitarian assistance to certain territories in 2019-2020 from the federal budget estimates for 2018 and for the planned period of 2019 and 2020" was given following the results of conference with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak on September 1.
The Ministry of Finance, in response to the request of RBC, declined to comment, as well as Kozak's representative. "The Ministry of Finance does not comment on this", —the ministry's press service reported. Natalya Timakova, the press secretary of the Prime Minister Natalia, declined to comment, and presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not respond to the request of RBC.
At the same time, two sources of the media in the State Duma of the Russian Federation and one in the government — emphasize that even if the Russian authorities decided to stop spending on "humanitarian support" of the occupied Donbas, "this does not mean that the financial support for the self-proclaimed republics will be stopped".
Financing of CDDLO is completely classified, it is described by secret government decisions (orders) and closed lines in the budget, says one of the sources of RBC. It is not clear what is understood to be the expenses on "humanitarian support", but more than likely, this is just one of several financing channels for the "DNR" and the "LNR", he explains.
The figures for possible Russian assistance to CDDLO were named in the printed press only a few times. Bloomberg reported with reference to sources in the self-proclaimed "republics" that Russia transfers $43.3 million to the "DNR" every month on the payment of pensions (the Russian Ministry of Finance later denied that there are expenses for such payments in the Russian budget). In February 2017, the Security Service of Ukraine claimed that the "LNR" budget provided for the receipt of more than $190.4 million for the first quarter of this year, about $155.8 of which is alleged aid from the Russian government.
According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation, from August 2014, 68 transport columns have been directed to the Donbass, which delivered more than 70 thousand tons of humanitarian cargo.