MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. Moscow will remain the largest metropolitan area in Russia, no alternatives will appear in forty coming years at the least, ex-finance minister, and chief executive of the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) Alexei Kudrin said on Saturday during the discussion with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.
"Moscow will definitely remain an agglomeration of such kind in Russia in 40 coming years. Moscow is indeed the strongest competitor for other cities and there is nothing to dispute. Moscow does not perceive them as competitors simply by virtue of achieved weight and development inertia," Kudrin said. It is already competing at the level of world’s capitals, he added.
"The city benefits from better human capital. However, Moscow does not compete with other cities. We do not have a task of competing with Kazan or Chelyabinsk," Sobyanin said in his turn.
The governors now should face the task of developing the largest regional cities so that people remain in the regional center instead of leaving for Moscow, he noted.
Russia needs to perform decentralization and transfer a portion of powers to constituencies in the field of urban development, education, healthcare, and so on, Kudrin said.
"We need to eliminate certain administrative borders. One of the most revolutionary ways is to consolidate constituencies or soften restrictions preventing creating a wide agglomeration from a certain city, comprising two - three Russian constituencies," the CSR chief said. Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk and Perm are three cities with a new agglomeration to potentially develop around them, he added. "The distance is such that these cities can be connected by expressways with traveling time up to 1.5-2 hours," Kudrin said.