Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev has complained to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych about the government of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea headed by Vasyl Dzharty, which, according to Lebedev, supports his expulsion from the region, in which he has invested over $200 million in facilities.
"There are many other countries with positive business climate, prepared basic infrastructure, a developed tourist industry and high standards of service, where big investors never hear from the local government anything like what we have heard for all these years in Crimea," the Russian businessman wrote in a letter released on Tuesday.
According to the Crimean mass media, in reply to Lebedev’s criticism about conditions of doing business in Crimea and a statement about his refusal to make further investments, Dzharty stated last week that he was not worried about this and "a holy place is never empty."
Lebedev in his letter to Dzharty noted he has invested in Crimea for about ten years. He built an aqua park, 14 hotels, nine swimming pools, a SPA resort and nine restaurants, where 1,500 people are employed.
According to him, with such an attitude of the Crimean government towards investors, big business will not invest in the development of the tourist industry on the peninsula. The southern coast of Crimea will remain "something that reminds one of a resort, to say the least, [built] at a pinch."
"A typical example is the seafront of Alushta, which, unfortunately, reminds one more of a dump, which we have proposed for many years to reconstruct on our own account. But we always receive a refusal," reads the letter by the Russian businessman.
According to him, the investment climate in the resort sector is much more favorable in Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Montenegro and even Albania.
Lebedev added that it is not easy to find an investor that will invest funds not only in commercial facilities, but also in the social and cultural sphere.
In early November, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) seized documents in the Morye hotel in Alushta owned by Lebedev as part of a criminal probe into an Alushta City Hall decision. At the same time, Ukrainian tax police performed on-site checks at several other facilities.