Kiribati Catholic Church Supports Leasing Of Islands; Opposes Renewed Romanov Empire

Bishop believe empire is a thing of the past but supports development of uninhabited islands

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 20, 2017) – The Catholic Church in Kiribati says a Russian businessman's plans to revive the Romanov empire in Kiribati don't make any sense and belong in the past.

Anton Bakov wants to use three uninhabited islands in the Southern Line Islands to build a resort complex and also create what he has called an 'alternative Russia'.

Bishop Paul Mea says the church would support the Government leasing the islands to Mr Bakov to develop the land as long as Kiribati retains ownership.

However, he says the church is not in favour of a revival of the Romanov empire, which ended in 1917 with the Bolshevik revolution.

"We are not very keen on that - we only keen that he develop a resort. I think the empire is gone. It belongs to the past. It doesn't make any sense now."

Bishop Paul Mea says he has met Anton Bakov, who visited the church with members of Parliament.

The Government's Foreign Investment Commission is still considering Mr Bakov's proposal but a decision is expected by March.

Radio New Zealand International
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