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Pacific Island Rejects Plan for Tropical Russian Empire

The pacific nation of Kiribati has rejected a proposal to construct an “alternative Russia” on the territory of three of its unoccupied islands.

The unusual plan came from millionaire Anton Bakov, a former Russian parliamentarian who now leads the obscure Russian Monarchist Party, the Lenta.ru news site reported. The eccentric politician offered to invest around $350 million in Kiribati in return for the right to resurrect the Russian Empire there.

Bakov promised to develop the three islands he would rent from the impoverished nation. He planned to build an airport, a seaport, a solar energy station, hospitals, schools, and even the University of the Russian Empire.

Nonetheless, on Feb. 24, a special government commission on foreign investment rejected the proposal. The stumbling block appears to have been Bakov's request for temporary sovereign rights over the islands.

The millionaire presented the plan as more of a technical restoration of the Russian Empire than colonization of the Pacific.

“The equatorial climate doesn't suit the Russian people...” he told the Guardian. As a result, “the number of Russian's living on the islands will likely be one to two percent.”

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