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MOSCOW, May 22 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian tycoon-turned-politician Mikhail Prokhorov offers to review the way Russia is divided into federal districts proceeding from economic expedience, the Kommersant daily writes on Thursday.
“A reform to enlarge regions on the basis of economic expedience is long overdue in Russia, but this process is long and difficult,” said Prokhorov, the founder of the Civic Platform Party. “The existing institution of envoys has long performed its political task, and I offer to direct it towards servicing economic mobilization - first of all to ensure cooperation among territories, which will give a new meaning to its existence,” the billionaire writes.
Prokhorov believes “federal districts should not necessarily coincide with the borders of Russian regions,” and offers his own option for ‘carving’ Russia.
“Leaving Western Siberia - which is strongly tied to the European economy - within the Urals Federal District, a Polar District should be separated out, bringing within it all territories lying north of the Polar Circle and united by the Northern Sea Route, as well as by the logic of the development of extreme deposits, unique northern environment and the necessity to take into consideration demands of the indigenous peoples,” he believes.
Prokhorov believes a Pacific District could be established in the Far East, which would involve eastern coasts and would be “orientated towards shaping a vector of development towards the Pacific Ocean where Japan could become a strategic partner”.
According to the business executive, a South-Siberian District could be set up on southern borders, which would stretch along the borders with China and Mongolia, “with the task to set up a powerful industrial cluster for the protection of Russian borders and with a possible expansion into Chinese territory”.
The rest of Siberia could be brought into a separate federal district, where energy-intensive industrial plants would be concentrated.
“Another example - what is the economic sense in dividing the south of Russia into federal districts - Southern, North Caucasian and now Crimean as well? It is evident that this is one economic district,” Prokhorov continued.
He believes resources in maximally possible amounts and with least costs must be recovered in Siberia. “There is no workforce shortage in our country: six to seven million workers can be released from ill performing enterprises and bureaucratic structures in five to ten years,” Prokhorov said.