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Pacific News Minute: Russian Monarchist Hopes to Re-establish Romanov Dynasty In Kiribati

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Over the past couple of years, we’ve reported on efforts to establish Libertarian Utopias on uninhabited Pacific islands and, just last month, to build a small floating city in a French Polynesian lagoon. Now a Russian businessman is in talks with the government of Kiribati to re-establish the Romanov dynasty.  Details from Neal Conan in Today’s Pacific News Minute.


Anton Bakov is on a visit to Kiribati at the invitation of the government and told Radio New Zealand they’re in discussions about three uninhabited islands in the Southern Line group.  One of them, Malden Island, would be the capital of a revived Russian Empire.


Bakov served four years as a member of Russia’s Parliament, and later founded the Monarchist Party.  In 2014, a micro-state he created called the See of the Imperial Throne, declared itself a Sovereign Nation. A German Prince and Romanov relative, Karl Emich of Leiningen took the throne as Emperor Nicholas the Third.  And, in gratitude, granted Bakov the title of Serene Prince.


By most accounts, the Romanov dynasty ended with the Russian revolution in 1917.  Tsar Nicholas the Second and his family were assassinated a year later in Anton Bakov’s hometown, Yekaterinburg. An attempt to establish his micro-nation there was rejected by President Putin.  Bakov’s since been in talks with Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Gambia…and now Kiribati.


In an interview with Radio New Zealand, Anton Bakov’s wife Marina said that millions of Russian emigres around the world would like to see the Romanovs return, but her description sounded more like a resort than an empire. 


The $350 million proposal calls for an airport and 4 ecological bungalow hotels on Malden Island, “Like Bora Bora or something like that” she said. 

Over 36 years with National Public Radio, Neal Conan worked as a correspondent based in New York, Washington, and London; covered wars in the Middle East and Northern Ireland; Olympic Games in Lake Placid and Sarajevo; and a presidential impeachment. He served, at various times, as editor, producer, and executive producer of All Things Considered and may be best known as the long-time host of Talk of the Nation. Now a macadamia nut farmer on Hawaiʻi Island, his "Pacific News Minute" can be heard on HPR Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
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