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President asks for speeding up expanding of Moscow

April 10, 2012, 10:47 UTC+3

The meeting participants discussed results of the first stage of work on expanding of Moscow

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MOSCOW, April 10 (Itar-Tass World Service) —— Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday chaired a meeting on expanding of Moscow. He ordered speeding up the plan to build administrative centres to host state authorities. Meanwhile, they say Vladimir Putin is not supporting much the moving of officials, which Medvedev has initiated.

During the meeting on the concept of development of the Moscow agglomeration, Dmitry Medvedev ordered speeding up the plan to construct administrative centres to host state authorities, the Kommersant writes. Presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich said the construction could begin not earlier than in 2013, and plans are to be presented by mid-May. The meeting discussed to where officials may move. The discussion was organised in the Moscow region’s city of Troitsk, which, in the new territory of 148,000 hectares /expanding of Moscow by 2.5 times is due on July 1 of the current year/, along with Skolkovo will be playing a role of a major innovations centre. The meeting participants discussed results of the first stage of work on expanding of Moscow and set forward new tasks.

The newspaper reports, the meeting discussed a general layout of zones in the new territory. Closer to Moscow will be a zone of “partial urbanisation,” further on comes the zone “of local town complexes surrounded by the nature,” and it will be followed by a “natural-recreational zone.” Separate zones of Bigger Moscow will be the Skolkovo innovations centre and the Rublevo-Arkhangelskoye financial and business centre. However the meeting did not discuss locations for state authorities – this would be a task of the next stage of Bigger Moscow’s organisation.

The Novye Izvestia writes the plan is to construct at the new territories houses of a few stores, and leading world architecture companies will be involved in design. All issues of transport between the old and the new cities will be settled so that not a single district may feel isolated from the centre or airports. Implementation of the ideas, the president said, will make Moscow an agglomeration with almost a 20 million population offering convenient conditions in a megalopolis.

The process of expanding is being dragged on, the Moskovsky Komsomolets reports. The moving plans were due by March 1 according to the orders Medvedev made in December. They say, the dragging has reasons – as if Vladimir Putin is not supporting much the idea of moving. “All necessary documents on expanding the borders of Moscow should be ready by May,” the president told the meeting, however. “All key decisions are to be made before the end of the budget process this year, so that projecting is possible.”

A participant in the meeting said its main objective was to demonstrate Medvedev’s clear inclination to implement the reform – by making orders and by setting deadlines, the Vedomosti writes. it has been clear the country’s leaders do not support completely the moving of officials even a year earlier, a political scientist Mikhail Vinogradov said: already after Medvedev’s announcement about the moving, the Kremlin and the Staraya Square started big renovation.

Putin would not like to move as for him, a man of the other time, the Kremlin is a sacred place, and moving out only the governmental officials would be weird, and it is an unpopular measure for bureaucracy, and because it is complicated to explain everything to the nation, the expert said.

Meanwhile, Medvedev is hurrying to make irrevocable the few major reforms, which are associated with his name, Vinogradov continues: first of all the political reform /revival of governors’ elections and multiplication of parties/ and “Bigger Moscow.” But even there he has to compromise a lot, Vinogradov regrets: in order guarantee the decision the governors should be elected, the president has introduced an additional filter for candidates, requesting to collect signatures from municipal deputies.


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