Moscow city officials are set to build a “government city,” a district outside Moscow that will host federal government agencies and housing for state officials in what is seen as a way to save time and transport expenses, Vedomosti business daily reported on Tuesday.
According to the daily, Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin announced on Monday that a special government district may be built in Moscow Region, part of presidential plan to enlarge the territory of the capital.
President Dmitry Medvedev suggested in June, 2011 expanding Moscow further into the surrounding Moscow Region, creating a capital federal district to which a substantial portion of the government would be relocated.
“It is rational in terms of time saving and costs reduction," Vedomosti quoted an unknown participant of Sobyanin’s Monday’s meeting as saying. "Ministers and their deputies visit their workplaces once in a week."
But one state official told Vedomosti the project, which will cost an estimated $30 billion, is unlikely to happen since “the federal budget cannot handle the expense."
A spokesman for the presidential administration Viktor Khrekov also expressed doubts, saying construction of the government city was a matter of several years, but not months.
A survey carried out by the All-Russia Public Opinion Center in July said that more than half of Muscovites support the idea of creating a new federal district and moving government agencies out of downtown Moscow.