It seems that the West’s worst fears could come true: a Russian monarchist has been working day and night to re-establish the nineteenth-century Russian Empire.
Anton Bakov, the leader of the Russian Monarchist Party, announced his withdrawal from the 2018 presidential race, reasoning that he had dual citizenship from a freshly founded state called the Romanov Empire in Western Africa.
While Bakov claimed that his new government had been recognized by The Gambia last month, which makes him ineligible to run for president, the Gambian government immediately denied signing any memorandum with “Arch Highness of the Romanov Empire,” saying that the documents he produced were fake.
“The Office of the President informs the general public that it has not signed any memorandum of understanding [MOU] with Romanov Empire represented by Arch Chancellor Prince Anton Bakov,” the Gambian statement read.
Bakov has reportedly offered to pay $60 million to build artificial islands, not exceeding 10 kilometers, within the Gambia’s territorial waters. He planned to build a capital city called Saint Nicholas in honor of Tsar Nicholas II who was executed in 1918 after the Bolshevik revolution.
Despite The Gambia’s denial, Russia’s Central Election Committee chairwoman, Ella Pamfilova, congratulated Bakov.
“The creation of an empire is sensational, we congratulate you! We wish you luck in your extraordinary and interesting project.”
Bakov is pinning his hopes on establishing diplomatic relations between his self-proclaimed Romanov Empire and Russia and promises to withdraw possible restitution claims against Moscow in the event of signing a Memorandum on Friendship and Cooperation.
Earlier in 2017, Kiribati turned down Bakov’s bid to locate his empire on uninhabited islands, where he planned to invest $350 million.