Andrey Nikiforov: Crimea is a testing ground
Andrey Nikiforov, a political scientist from the Crimea, shared his opinion on the only autonomy in Ukraine - the Crimean Autonomous Republic. Nikiforov called this territory a kind of testing ground for various economic projects, also presenting his view on the global geopolitical events through the prism of a small Crimean peninsula.
"Some people try to use the Crimea as a scarecrow, telling that we’ve almost dug into the Perekop, while others look with hope in our direction. The Crimea is used as a model of different relationships, such as Russian-Ukrainian affairs or an autonomy model," said Nikiforov.
The lecturer of Philosophy Department at Tauride National University supplied some historic background, telling about the Single-channel budget and Free Economic Zone economic projects that at one time operated on the peninsula, as well as about the ARC Strategy for Socio-Economic Development up to 2020, written by the late Vasily Dzharty, the former Prime Minister of Crimea.
Nikiforov called the last project an ‘imitation project’, confessing that he did not see anything that would show the real fruits of this program.
"If there is no real economic activity, if it is simulated, this empty space will be taken by someone anyway," said Nikiforov noting that the peninsula has now been staked by the Chinese.
According to Nikiforov, entering Ukrainian markets from the Crimean direction has become a good tradition. In recent years, there is much talk about Chinese investment projects in Saki port construction for grain handling (the Chinese want to grow crops on the peninsula).
"The Chinese side is persistent in trying to get the Crimea closer. In my view, what is happening in the Crimea can serve as a very good indicator: in this case, Crimea plays a role of the testing ground - other players may appear too - players that will completely change the geopolitical agenda," concluded the expert.