Russian news outlet RBK reports citing sources close to the Kremlin, Censor.NET reports.
The instruction to the Finance Ministry says to "exclude from the draft federal budget for 2018 and for the planned period of 2019 and 2020 the full cost of providing humanitarian assistance to certain territories in 2019-2020."
In open documents concerning the formation of the budget of the Russian Federation there is no wording "humanitarian support of certain territories." According to a federal official and two sources of RBK close to the Kremlin, behind this wording is financial assistance to self-proclaimed authorities of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbas.
The protocol of the meeting at the office of Kozak reads that the funds will be redirected to infrastructure projects in annexed Crimea and in the Kaliningrad region.
Together, these projects are estimated at 165 billion rubles ($2.9 billion). However it's not possible to estimate, based on these data, how much money is spent from the budget on the Donbas republics, the outlet says.
In addition, RBK's sources in the State Duma and in the government emphasize that even if the authorities decided to stop spending on humanitarian aid to the Donbas, this does not mean that funds will stop coming to Donetsk and Luhansk.
Financing of the Donbas 'republics' is completely classified, described by secret government regulations and closed lines in the budget, said one of the sources of RBK. "Humanitarian support", in his opinion, was only one of several funding channels.
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