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No Residence to Rise on Russky Island

The Kremlin has abandoned plans for a state residence on an island off the coast of Vladivostok.

"The Office for Presidential Affairs will not build a residence on Russky Island. There was such an idea, but it has been dropped," the office's press secretary Viktor Khrekov told Izvestia on Monday.

Kremlin officials had publicly discussed building a residence on the island as a venue to host visiting dignitaries from other Asian-Pacific states.

Khrekov said the project had been cancelled for financial reasons and a reordering of priorities toward Russia's "European partners."

Vladivostok will host the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum this September. Most of the events will be hosted in a new federal university being built on Russky Island.

If completed, it would have been the only state residence east of the Urals. A 6 billion ruble ($201 million) state residence in the Kaliningrad region was opened last year.

Lavish official residences have been a source of controversy in recent years. A palace on the Black Sea coast apparently intended for Vladimir Putin has drawn widespread flack from environmentalists and anti-corruption crusaders.

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