June 10, 2014

Russia Burdened by Weight of Empire

Vladimir Ryzhkov, Moscow Times

The Associated Press

Russia pays an increasingly higher price to support and maintain its "colonies" of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, the self-proclaimed Transdnestr republic and now Crimea, along with its "dominions" of Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia. Information from a variety of sources makes it possible to estimate the scale of that support. Russia spent more than $1 billion in budgetary funds on South Ossetia since 2008, and spends the same amount annually for assistance to Transdnestr. At the same time, the self-proclaimed republic owes Russia about $4 billion for unpaid gas bills alone. Moscow also subsidizes about 70 percent of Abkhazia's budget at a cost of $350 million per year.

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