24 Feb 2017

Kiribati govt rejects Russian's proposal over islands

3:18 pm on 24 February 2017

Kiribati has rejected a proposal by a Russian businessman and monarchist who wanted to use three of the country's uninhabited islands to revive the Romanov empire.

Anton Bakov

Anton Bakov Photo: Supplied

Anton Bakov wanted to create what he called an "alternative Russia" and earlier said he planned to invest about $350 million US dollars in the project, which included building a resort complex.

However, in a statement, the Kiribati Government says it has rejected Mr Bakov's demand for sovereign rights over the three Southern Line islands as a prerequisite to investing.

It says its Cabinet made the decision after the Kiribati Foreign Investment Commission, which had carried out due diligence on the proposal, reported back its findings.

The Government says the commission's findings were "not positive".

In 2011, Mr Bakov claimed to have purchased a small northern Cook Islands bird sanctuary, Suwarrow, from the Cook Islands Government.

But the Cook Islands' Prime Minister, Henry Puna, quickly dismissed that claim as false.