Prokhorov’s Moscow traffic solution: Shift president from Kremlin

(RT Photo / Natalia Makarova)
Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov – who plans to run for president in March 2012 – has suggested moving the Russian president’s residence from the Kremlin in order to sort out Moscow’s traffic problems.

According to Prokhorov, “it is annoying” that the Russian head of state as well as other officials, including MPs, and the government, travel daily to Moscow downtown to work, hold meetings or rush in their cars from the city center to airports.

As a result of that, a third of Muscovites, “including me, are stuck in traffic jams twice a day – in the morning and in the evening,” the presidential candidate wrote on his blog on LiveJournal. “Frankly, I’m fed up with that,” he added.

The Kremlin – a historic fortified area in the very heart of Moscow – could be turned into a museum permanently open for public, Prokhorov suggested.

Currently, the Kremlin Senate hosts the presidential administration and therefore part of the territory is closed for ordinary citizens for security reasons.

Prokhorov also observed that the atmosphere of the Kremlin apparently affects those who work in it, since they all eventually “absorb the spirit of the Soviet Politburo.” He wants “the ghost of Communism” to be as far as possible from the Russian authorities.

“I think, for starters, a more comfortable place should be found for the president, where one could calmly live and work, without bothering anyone else,” Prokhorov said. Then the administration and all other authorities could be moved closer to the presidential office, he added.

The businessman noted that this way everything would go ahead without any “mega-plans” of expanding Moscow’s boundaries.

Initially, an idea to expand the territory of the city – which is now being put to life – was put forward by President Dmitry Medvedev at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. The main goal is to turn the Russian capital into an international center, which also requires such problems as heavy traffic to be addressed. In addition, “it would improve the development of the metropolitan” and “simply to make life easier for numerous people,” Medvedev said back in June.