Yalta (QHA) -

Chairing a meeting of the State Council held on August 17, 2015, Vladimir Putin wondered why the RUB 1,6 billion earmarked for Crimea’s institutions of culture never reached its intended recipients.

Cited below is a dialogue between Putin and the government officials.

Putin: I asked the government to specifically allocate funds for institutions of culture in Crimea. Have the funds been allotted? And if so, what are they being used for?

Vladimir Medinsky, Russia’s Minister of Culture: We now have RUB 1,6 billion in funds, but it has not yet been forwarded to Crimea. But we do know how the money is going to be spent down to every kopeck.

Putin: Why not?

Medinsky: Well, it takes time for the funds to pass all stages. I mean, the Crimean Ministry and finalization of all kinds.

Putin: For your information, it’s mid August now. So? Where is it?

Medinsky: We have a list of institutions the funds will be allocated to.

Putin: Yes, you do. But where’s the money, ha?

Alexey Lavrov, Deputy Minister of Finances: The money is being handled by the Ministry of Culture.

Putin: But why hasn’t it reached the intended recipients? Why isn’t it in the Crimean budget?

Medinsky: That’s something of an enigma to us…