The Russian government on Tuesday instructed a number of ministries to prepare legislation to establish a special economic zone in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol by May 25.
The order calls on local and national officials to draft "a federal law on the establishment of a special economic zone on the territory of the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol", RIA Novosti reported.
The Cabinet of Ministers instructed the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Crimean Affairs, Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Regions to prepare the bill by May 25.
Russia is expected to designate Crimea and Sevastopol as a special economic zone with tax breaks to attract investors. Crimea has already adopted the Russian ruble as an official currency.
Last month, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev proposed a sweeping development program to improve the lives of Crimeans, ranging from revamping the region's healthcare and education system to boosting its ailing economy.
Crimea, previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev which seized power as a result of a coup in February, instead rejoining Russia following a referendum on the issue.