Medvedev Orders Government Relocation Plan

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the drafting of proposals for relocating state services outside downtown Moscow, part of his plan to expand the city limits and relieve congestion in the capital, the Kremlin said on Thursday.

Medvedev first voiced the idea of relocating a substantial portion of the government to a newly created capital federal district in June 2011. He has now ordered proposals for the plan to be drawn up by July 9.

Among the state bodies expected to be moved outside Moscow are both houses of parliament, the Federation Council and the State Duma, as well as Government Administration staff, the Prosecutor General’s Office, Investigative Committee, Audit Chamber and the top judiciary bodies, including the Supreme Court.

Earlier this week Russian business daily Vedomosti reported that Moscow city officials were set to build a “government city,” a district outside Moscow that will host federal government agencies and housing for state officials in what is seen as a way to save time and transport expenses.

But the idea seems a long way off due to its high price tag, estimated at $30 billion, Vedomosti said.

Medvedev also ordered on Thursday a start to construction of a toll road on Moscow’s expanded territory by January 1, 2014.

A survey carried out by the All-Russia Public Opinion Center in July, 2011 said that more than half of Muscovites support the idea of creating a new federal district and moving government agencies out of downtown Moscow.


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