Bakov expands on plans for new empire in Kiribati

A Russian businessman and monarchist says the islands of Kiribati would make a peaceful and neutral location for his planned 'alternative Russia'.

RNZ reports Anton Bakov wants to revive the Romanov empire, which ended in 1917 with the Bolshevik revolution.

Mr Bakov plans to use three uninhabited islands in the Southern Line Islands of Kiribati, making one of the islands, Malden, his capital.

He's currently visiting Kiribati at the invitation of its Government, which is yet to agree to his proposal.

Mr Bakov's wife, Marina Bakova, who translated for her husband during the interview, spoke to Amelia Langford, about their plans.

A spokesperson for the Kiribati Government say its Foreign Investment Commission is still considering the proposal.

MARINA BAKOVA: Our project proposes co-operation with one of the poor countries and Kiribati is really a developing country - quite a poor country. The other country, for example, we are working with is Gambia in western Africa.

AMELIA LANGFORD: Why does he want to revive the Romanov Empire?

MB: This is the desire of not only the heir of the Russian throne, Nicholas the 3rd, but also a great number of Russian patriots who are not happy with Putin's regime and would like to have the revival of the Romanov an alternative Russia maybe...There are tens of thousands of Russian immigrants - tens of millions of Russian immigrants all over the world - and they're quantity is growing...Many of them would like to see the revival of the Romanov empire.

AL: So there is a lot of support for this?

MB: Well, actually, maybe not so much of the Russians support the idea. Because perhaps you know that Anton Bakov is the head of the Russian Monarchist Party, the official party registered in Russia. In case, or when the Monarchist Party takes part in the elections, the supporters of the Monarchist party are about one or one and a half percent officially. But when you know that there are more than 100 million voters in Russia, this quantity is not so small.

AL: What does he think of Kiribati?

MB: Actually, we are collaborating with several poor countries - one of which is Kiribati. Kiribati has a wonderful climate, it's a very peaceful country and we are interested in it because it is very neutral and very peaceful.

AL: Is he going to build a hotel?

MB: Yes. Actually we have a very interesting project of developing Malden Island. This development [involves] the construction of the airport, the seaport and the construction of four ecological bungalow resorts like in the Maldives, like in Bora Bora, or something like this. Because the atolls, the island, looks very like these territories.

AL: How much will that put into the Kiribati economy? How much is the deal worth?

MB: How much money will be invested?

AL: Yes.

MB: The total amount of the project is about $350 million dollars, American dollars, but of course it would be specified after we have the approval of the government.

Marina Bakova, the wife of Anton Bakov.