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MOSCOW, July 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered Moscow Regional Governor Boris Gromov to stay in touch with Moscow in the broadening of the city limits.
Gromov said that vast lands in the south and the southwest had been assigned for broadening the Moscow city limits, among them Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye – the future location of the Skolkovo Center.
“We think these are good lands. The population density is not high there; the environmental status is high,” Gromov said.
He confirmed contact with Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and said they met on Thursday to discuss the development of municipalities, which would not be included in the new capital federal district. “There is a lot of formalities to settle,” Putin said.
The Moscow city and the Moscow region will swap lands to enlarge the city territory. The agreement was concluded between Sobyanin and Gromov and considered at the Moscow City Duma on July 5.
Moscow will include 723.4 hectares of land, which currently belongs to the region, while the region will acquire 328.4 hectares of land, which currently belongs to the city.
In addition, the city limits will be updated, Moscow Vice-Mayor Natalia Sergunina said. Borders will be alternated in 45 municipalities of the Moscow region and 44 municipalities of Moscow. The latest update was done in 1984.
The measures will be taken in the fulfillment of President Dmitry Medvedev’s proposal of forming a capital federal district to replace the capital city. He made the proposal at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 17 by the example of similar administrative units in the United States and Japan.
Bearing in mind the formation of an international financial center in Moscow, “we may consider extension of the Moscow city limits” for improving the development of the megalopolis and the life of a huge number of people, the president said. “The capital federal district will exceed the traditional limits of Moscow, and plenty of federal administrative functions and state institutions may be moved beyond these boundaries,” he said.
Presidential Aide Arkady Dvorkovich said was necessary to improve management in the Moscow region and to resettle state institutions from Moscow. The majority of governmental agencies, ministries and departments will have the same location.
The very idea of forming the city federal district implies additional functions of the federal constituent, Sobyanin said.
“Moscow will incorporate new territories and will stop being a city pure. The ideology entrusts it with an additional function of the development of federal structures,” he said.
“That is a colossal investment project. Modern Moscow is a jinn in a bottle. It has plenty of unused investments and the territory is too tight to develop. The city lives under colossal pressure, and the resettlement of some institutions outside the Moscow Circular Road will help resolve the problem and create a new center for drawing investments,” he said.
There is an agreement to form a working group of representatives of the city of Moscow and the Moscow region for selecting the prospective location of governmental agencies, Sobyanin said. “I think we will make a decision within two weeks and propose it for discussion,” he said.
As for the possible resettlement of federal agencies, the mayor said, “That would be the president’s decision. The government and he will decide which agencies will move. As for city departments, I think we should give the issue a serious consideration.”
Sobyanin said he had discussed the issue with Gromov.
“The governor takes the situation in an absolutely correct way, because he understands that problems of Moscow are putting a rather serious pressure on the existent borders. We agreed to form an interim group for making a preliminary analysis and then to elaborate our proposals for federal authorities together,” he said.
It is not the question of the unification of Moscow and the Moscow region, Sobyanin said.
“A certain segment will be allotted for the development of the city. Its size and scale would be subjects of negotiations with the Moscow region and decisions of the president and the government,” he said. “There will be no referendum on broadening the Moscow city limits, that is for sure.”
As for his personal opinion, Sobyanin said, “that would be a local zone to give a serious impetus to new investments. In fact, that would be a new modern satellite city within the Moscow city limits.”