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  Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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Russia's lower house of the parliament passed in first reading Friday a draft law on the merger of two regions in the country's Far East
Russia's lower house of the parliament passed in first reading Friday a draft law on the merger of two regions in the country's Far East. Kamchatka Territory, which has a population of about 400,000, will include the current Kamchatka Region and the Koryak Autonomous Area, and is set to come into existence July 1, 2007. Unification was approved by referendum in October, with 84.87% of Kamchatka Region voters and 89.04% in Koryak backing it. The new region will have a 50-member regional legislature under the draft law. Both regions will have separate budgets until the end of 2007, with a common budget to be drafted in 2008. The Kamchatka Territory is the third of the new merged regions that have formed since late 2005 in a bid to strengthen national territorial unity. The Perm Territory unified Perm Region and Komi-Permyak Autonomous Area, comprising more than 160,000 square kilometers and with a population of about 3 million, as of December 1, 2005. Krasnoyarsk Territory, uniting the current Krasnoyarsk territory, the Taimyr (Dolgano-Nenets) and the Evenki autonomous areas, all in Central Siberia, will come into being January 1 next year, with a population of more than 3 million. Irkutsk Region in east Siberia will absorb the Ust-Ordyn Buryat Autonomous Area January 1, 2008, after the merger was approved by referendum in April. Preparations are also underway to unify Krasnodar Territory and the Republic of Adygeya in the south of the country.
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