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Russia’s eastern-most areas see New Year in

December 31, 2015, 15:34 UTC+3 PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY

The Ratmanov Island is Russia’s eastern extremity in the Bering Strait

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© Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, December 30. /TASS/. Russia’s eastern-most areas have seen in the New Year. Border guards on duty off the Kamchatka Peninsula and on an island in the Chukchi Peninsula were the first to celebrate the advent of 2016.

The Kamchatka border guard office told TASS the crew of the patrol ship The Argal and the radio communication post on the Ratmanov Island were the first Russians to address each other with New Year greetings and wishes.

The Ratmanov Island is Russia’s eastern extremity in the Bering Strait. It is just 4,120 meters away from the Big Diomede Island, which is US territory.

The region’s governor Vladimir Ilyukhin addressed the local TV audiences on television.

"The new year is going to be a no easy one. We have ambitious plans ahead. We are to deal with major infrastructural issues and translate into reality many projects in industry, farming, tourism and the social sphere," Governor Ilyukhin said. "May 2016 bring peace, accord and prosperity to each family of Kamchatka."

The first Champaign corks were popped and New Year toasts pronounced in Kamchatka and Chukotka when it was 15:00 in Moscow. It will take the holiday ten hours to travel across the nation’s time zones to reach the westernmost region - Kaliningrad - when the

Russian capital will be one hour into 2016.

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