“A reform to enlarge regions on the basis of economic expedience is long overdue in Russia, but this process is long and difficult,” said Prokhorov, one of the richest businessmen in Russia and the founder of the political party Civic Platform.
Prokhorov believes “federal districts should not necessarily coincide with the borders of Russian regions,” and offers his own option for division of Russia. He suggests uniting all Russian Arctic territories in one district:
“Leaving Western Siberia - which is strongly tied to the European economy - within the Urals Federal District, a Polar District should be separated out, bringing within it all territories lying north of the Polar Circle and united by the Northern Sea Route, as well as by the logic of the development of extreme deposits, unique northern environment and the necessity to take into consideration demands of the indigenous peoples,” he believes.
Prokhorov believes a Pacific District could be established in the Far East, which would involve eastern coasts and would be “orientated towards shaping a vector of development towards the Pacific Ocean where Japan could become a strategic partner”.
According to the business executive, a South-Siberian District could be set up on southern borders, which would stretch along the borders with China and Mongolia, while the rest of Siberia could be brought into a separate federal district, where energy-intensive industrial plants would be concentrated. He believes resources in maximally possible amounts and with least costs must be recovered in Siberia. “There is no workforce shortage in our country: six to seven million workers can be released from ill performing enterprises and bureaucratic structures in five to ten years,” Prokhorov said, according to ITAR-TASS, who is citing Kommersant.