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Russia Says Big Businesses Interested in Kaliningrad Offshore Zone

Russia’s Kaliningrad regionRussia’s Kaliningrad region

Big businesses are interested in the prospects of creating a territory with a special legal regime in Russia’s Kaliningrad region, deputy chairman of the regional government Alexander Shenderuk-Zhidkov told Tass.

The Kaliningrad region is Russia’s enclave on the Baltic Sea, the country’s westernmost area.

“If we talk about specific companies, it’s too early to mention any names, but I can say that at the recent St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, representatives of largest Russian businesses often asked Governor Anton Alikhanov about the entry of the law on special administrative areas coming into force,” Zhidkov said. He  noted that the region expects the law to come into force on January 1, 2019.

“For us it would be perfect, if the law is submitted to the State Duma (lower house of parliament) and adopted in the spring session. If it is possible, of course, but we hope that the law will enter into force no later than January 1, 2019,” he said. The official said that the regional authorities actively support the initiative.

“In our opinion, this is a historical event that can lead to reformatting the economy of the Kaliningrad region and give it a significant competitive advantage by attracting financial capital, which in turn should boost construction, hotel sector, services,” he said.

Also the establishment of such special administrative zones is a “serious legal novelty” that will enable Kaliningrad and Vladivostok (Russia’s Far East region) to test the latest legal techniques in order to use them in the country in the future.

In May, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the Russian government intends to create territories with the special legal regime in the Russky Island in the Far East and Oktyabrsky Island in the Kaliningrad region.

Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin said in May that a special administrative regime in those islands will resemble the one in the state of Delaware, the offshore zone in the United States.

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