MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has introduced a bill on creating a specially-designated gambling zone in Crimea, according to an announcement made Monday on the webpage of the lower house of the Russian parliament.
Under a 2007 law designed to curb gambling in major Russian cities and boost economic growth in remote regions, casinos and other gambling establishments were restricted to operating in four specially-designated zones in the country.
Should the bill pass, the Republic of Crimea will join the Altai, Kaliningrad, Krasnodar and Primorsky regions, where such zones are currently being established.
Crimea, formerly a part of Ukraine, held a referendum on reunification with Russia on March 16 in reaction to dangerous nationalist rhetoric from the coup-imposed authorities in Kiev. Over 96 percent of voters in the region supported integration into the Russian Federation, and a treaty providing for reunification was signed on March 18.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.