Kiribati Mulls Proposal to Restore Russian Monarchy

Anton Bakov, a former Russian parliamentarian and businessman, wants to restore the Russian monarchy on three uninhabited islands in the nation of Kiribati, seeking to purchase the land for hundreds of millions of dollars.  Kiribati’s Foreign Investment Commission is currently considering the proposal, with mixed opinions.

Bakov says he will construct his alternative Russia by investing $350 million into hotels and tourism on the three islands. Bakov is a member of the monarchist party, which seeks to reform Russia under Czarist leadership.

The monarchy was overthrown in 1917 during the Russian Revolution, but Bakov intends to recreate it. He created the Imperial Throne, a self-designated nation lacking any territory in 2011. He believes that the Kiribati land purchase will resolve the issue of the Imperial Throne’s lack of sovereign territory.

Former Kiribati President Teburoro Tito favors the purchase. “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,” said Tito.

However, others such as Sitiveni Halapua, a Pacific Development Specialist, oppose the proposal due to its unusual nature.  The total GDP of Kiribati in 2015 was $160 million. A  $350 million investment from Bakov, therefore, would have a profound impact on the island nation.

“This is the desire of…a great number of Russian patriots who are not happy with Putin’s regime,” said Bakov’s wife.  The monarchist movement in Russia has received little traction, as few Russian citizens see it as a realistic plan, even if they oppose President Vladimir Putin. The island resorts, however, could offer a boost to the popularity of Bakov’s monarchical movement.