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Government Offices' Relocation Stalled

Plans to move government offices outside of the Moscow Ring Road, or MKAD, have reportedly stalled. Here, the interchange of the MKAD and the Varshavskoye and Simferopolskoye freeways in southern Moscow.

The project to relocate government offices outside the city center has been frozen due to budgetary concerns, resistance from officials and an unenthusiastic Kremlin, Izvestia reported Monday.

The reluctance of officials to make the move has prompted the presidential administration to convene a special meeting headed by President Vladimir Putin to discuss the idea, after which a decision on whether to make the move will be made, Izvestia said, citing Igor Okunev, the deputy prefect of the Troitsk and the Novomoskovsk administrative districts in Greater Moscow.

The meeting was scheduled to be held July 9, the date by which Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered that the “contours” of the plan be determined, though the meeting could be canceled due to mass flooding in the Krasnodar region.

A source close to the Kremlin cited by Izvestia said, “The amount of work to be done is huge, and it looks like it’s still not done. … I know that the president is against this idea.”

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the project is still to be worked on by the government and that it’s too early to talk about it on the presidential level.

“The project has turned out to be much more complicated and expensive than it seemed at the beginning. The project’s cost is not clear. But one thing is certain: The cost [of moving the government] is calculated as a percentage of the country’s gross domestic product,” he said.

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