Gambia government has rejected as false a news a story on the New Zealand Radio reportedly quoting a Russian businessman seeking to restore the Romanov Empire in Kiribati as saying his plans are now being realised in The Gambia.
The radio reported that Anton Bakov made the announcement at a news conference in the city of Yekatrinburg, saying a Memorandum on Friendship and Cooperation between the Romanov Empire and the Republic of the Gambia has been signed in Banjul.
The information minister Demba Jawo told reporters that the story is false. “Let me assure all that this is yet another fake news. I discussed it with SG Fadera and he assured me that even though someone once approached him about the issue, but the idea was never endorsed and therefore the statement is false. We are working on a rebuttal press release,” Jawo said.
The “false story” also shows what appears like a memorandum bearing the signature of secretary general Dawda Fadera and one Modou Lamin Saidykhan reportedly from foreign affairs.
Bakov reportedly said once a treaty is signed, the Empire will pay $US60 million to the government of the Gambia.
Then artificial islands, not exceeding 10 square kilometres, are planned to be built within the Gambia’s territorial waters to accommodate the revived Empire.
The islands are to include an economic zone as well as what is being labelled the first ‘smart city’ in Africa, the story added.
A capital city is to be built called Saint Nicholas in reference to Czar Nicholas II who was executed in Yekatrinburg in 1918 after the Bolshevik revolution.
The agreement provides for the Gambia and the Romanov Empire to establish diplomatic relations and for the Empire to have broad jurisdiction, including over immigration.
Mr Bakov, who is a former parliamentarian, is also the head of the Monarchist Party and a candidate in next year’s Russian presidential election.
In February, Kiribati turned down Mr Bakov’s bid to site his empire on uninhabited islands of the Line Group where he planned to invest $US350 million.
Bakov also said he was still awaiting a positive decision if not from the current Kiribati government led by Taneti Maamau, then from the following one.
He said he had worked out “in most details the development of Malden island, into a mosaic, into a puzzle in a huge picture of modern planetary economy of the 21st century.”
He said so far he spent about one million dollars in Kiribati during the six months he was there.
“Therefore I am not going to quit this project – I have no competitors there.”