A Russian businessman keen to revive the Romanov empire says he has to date received no official decision from the Kiribati government rejecting his investment proposal.
Anton Bakov made the comment in an interview with the Tatarstan-based Business Online website three months after the Kiribati Foreign Investment Commission turned down his bid.
Mr Bakov sought to lease three uninhabited islands in the Line group of Kiribati to set up an alternative Russia and promised to transfer $US120 million to the Kiribati government right away, should it agree to his investment plan.
He said a further $US230 million would be spent on tourism infrastructure in a first phase of the project which involved re-establishing the Imperial See on the island of Malden.
After the project was turned down, Mr Bakov wrote on Facebook in March that he met President Taneti Maamau whom he described as an ardent supporter.
In a statement, the President's Office rejected this and expressed concern at what it said was RNZI's continued lack of balance in reporting the issue.
Mr Bakov suggested at the same time only the Australian ambassador was opposed.
A few days later, Mr Bakov told the news site znak.com that he was in the process of selling 19 plots of land near his home town of Yekaterinburg and moving to Kiribati.