27 Jan 2017

Russian plan in Kiribati finds support 'in principle'

2:10 pm on 27 January 2017

A former Kiribati president says a Russian monarchist's plans to revive the Romanov Empire in Kiribati could boost the country's tourism industry.

Anton Bakov, a businessman and the founder of Russia's Monarchist Party, wants to use three uninhabited islands in the Southern Line Islands.

Mr Bakov plans to set up a capital on Malden Island, where he will build hotels.

Teburoro Tito said the multi-million dollar project could benefit Kiribati by providing jobs and attracting tourists.

"Assuming the things they're saying are true, are correct, then I would like to see it happen. If they can do it, without any cost on us, except from the land which we can host them, then I don't see any fuss at this stage."

Teburoro Tito said he understands the project would inject $US120-million into the Kiribati economy over six years.

The Government's Foreign Investment Commission is still considering the proposal.