Eleanor Ainge Roy “Russian millionaire details plans for new Romanov empire on Pacific islands” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/07/russian-millionaire-plans-re-establish-romanov-empire-pacific-islands
Bakov has now proposed leasing the uninhabited islands of Malden, Starbuck and Millennium to use as a base for his “alternative Russia”, as well as building infrastructure for tourists and businesses.
According to Bakov and the Kiribati government, the three islands are completely uninhabited and undeveloped and Bakov’s offer is the largest investment ever considered by the island nation.
“We were drawn to Kiribati due to the wonderful climate, big and spacious uninhabited islands and small population, which would obviously benefit from our financial assistance” said Bakov by email.
Bakov’s son Mikhail first approached the Kiribati government in late 2015 with his father’s investment plan.
After meeting with the Bakov’s earlier this year the President of Kiribati, Taneti Mamau, set out with a number of government ministers to inspect the three islands in person.
The round-trip was expected to take up to a month and a decision on whether to proceed with the deal would be made on the president’s return near the end of February.
“The main economic objects of the islands will be eco-friendly hotels and fish processing plants. We would also develop tropical agriculture and Russian Imperial University.”
The development of the islands would take between ten to fifteen years, estimated Bakov, and it was projected up to 1000 I-Kiribati – as residents of the islands are known – largely recruited from Christmas Island some 670km away, would eventually be employed.
The first stage of the project would be an immediate financial injection of US$120m to the Kiribati government, said Bakov, followed by US$230m for the first stage of infrastructure construction on Malden Island, as well as additional taxes and customs for the Kiribati government.