|Organizational structure||Constitutional monarchy|
The Imperial Throne (Russian: Императорский Престол), formerly the Russian Empire (Российская Империя), is a micronation created in 2011 by Russian businessman and politician Anton Bakov, chairman of the Monarchist Party of the Russian Federation.
Shortly after creation, many efforts were made to convert it from a micronation to a sovereign state. In 2014, the Imperial Throne proclaimed that Prince Karl Emich of Leiningen, one of several claimants to the imperial Romanov line, was now Nicholas III, heir of the Emperors of All Russia and the head of this nation.
By 2017, talks with heads of several countries were held to purchase a territory to establish a "non-micro" state: these include Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania, Gambia, Antigua and Barbuda and Kiribati. In early 2017 it was reported that Bakov was interested in acquiring 3 islands belonging to Kiribati in order to establish a "revived Romanov Empire". On 24 February 2017, the Kiribati government rejected Bakov's proposal over the islands. Bakov later claimed it wasn't the final decision and that it was related to an inner Kiribati political struggle.
In September 2011, Russian newspaper Izvestia told that Bakov had purchased the Suwarrow atoll on 20 July 2011 for "millions of dollars" from the prime minister of the Cook Islands, on which he planned resurrect the Russian Empire. Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna stated that Bakov's claim was completely false.
Bakov has also denied this statement. Bakov has declared the new Russian Empire (micronation) to be the successor to the historical Russian Empire that ceased to exist in 1917. The Imperial Throne also claims the right to maritime territories that were either claimed by the Russian Empire or discovered by the Imperial Russian Navy but never absorbed into the Soviet Union. The 17 claimed territories include the entire continent of Antarctica and land under the jurisdiction of Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other nations.
Bakov declared himself prime minister and announced a constitution and state symbols. The empire began to issue its own passports online for 1,000 rubles (US$31), and by 2014 it claimed it had granted about 4,000 passports to citizens.
Proponents of the new Russian Empire purport it to be the successor of the historical Russian Empire founded by Peter the Great in 1721. As such, the nation stakes its claim to unpopulated territory that belonged to the historical Russian Empire through "right of discovery", but which was not claimed by the Soviet Union after the 1917 Russian Revolution. It does not claim land that was part of the historical Russian Empire that is now part of Finland, Poland, or the former Soviet republics.
In June 2012, Bakov registered the Monarchist Party with the Russian Ministry of Justice, with a stated goal of restoring the monarchy to Russia in accordance with law. It is the only legalised monarchist party in Russia. In the fall of 2013, Bakov's daughter Anastasia Bakova (Анастасия Бакова) was the Monarchist Party's candidate in the mayoral elections in Yekaterinburg.
Accession of Prince Karl Emich
On 31 March 2014, under the new name of the Imperial Throne, the micronation issued a manifesto announcing itself a sovereign nation and declaring that Prince Karl Emich of Leiningen (born 1952) had become its head with the title of Nicholas III, Emperor of All Russia, as a successor to Nicholas II. The title claim emerged upon the Prince's conversion from Lutheranism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity on 1 June 2013. Karl Emich descends from the House of Romanov through his grandmother, Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna (1907-1951), eldest child of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, who in 1924 claimed the Russian crown from exile following the execution of his cousin Nicholas II in 1918.
The Imperial Throne claimed that by his conversion, Prince Karl Emich had fulfilled the accession requirements of Articles 35 and 53 of the Fundamental Laws of the Russian Empire last established in 1906. Prince Karl Emich accepted the Orthodox name "Nikolai Kirillovich" (Николай Кириллович) to become Nicholas III, and his (third) wife, née Countess Isabelle von und zu Egloffstein, who also converted, accepted the name "Yekaterina Fyodorovna" (Екатерина Фёдоровна).
The manifesto and new constitution, signed by Nicholas III, proclaimed the goal of the Imperial Throne as consolidating people all over the world devoted to Christian monarchism. In this document, the Imperial Throne renounced all territorial claims of the Russian Empire (micronation).
Constitution and bylaws
According to its constitution, "the Imperial Throne is a sovereign state, a constitutional monarchy, the successor of the All-Russian Imperial Throne, and its predecessor, the Roman and Byzantine thrones."
Council of ministers
The nation's website proclaims a council of ministers (similar to the council of ministers set up by the actual Russian Empire), composed of the following:
- Anton Alekseevich Bakov — Chairman and "Archchancellor"
- Stanislav Alexandrovich Belkovsky — Comrade of the Chairman
- Tatiana Nikolayevna Ignatova — Minister of Finance
- Mikhail Leontevich Strass — Minister of the Imperial Palace
- Kirill Olegovich Zhesterov — Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Ilya Antonovich Bakov — Minister of Investment
Proposed imperial palace and further talks
In 2014, Bakov announced that he had purchased a 96 hectares (0.96 km2) plot of land in Nikšić, Montenegro to build an imperial palace along with a Russian cultural center and Orthodox monastery. In early 2015, as a follow-up to the international sanctions during the Ukrainian crisis, Bakov told the press there were talks with Montenegro authorities to establish an offshore zone at this plot, aimed at providing financial intermediation to Russian companies.
Also in early 2015 Imperial Throne representatives claimed to be in talks with the authorities of the neighboring Republic of Macedonia and Albania on possible collaboration and future state recognition. Bakov held a meeting with Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. Later there were talks with President of Gambia Yahya Jammeh at the 70th UN General Assembly session. Also, talks were held with Macedonian and Montenegro Eastern Orthodox clergy — Bakov discussed creation of churches associated with Imperial Throne and proposed canonization of Russian ruler Ivan III and his wife Sophia Palaiologina, who played significant roles in bringing Christian monarchy to Russia. Talks with Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, also took place.
In May 2016 talks were held with government of Kiribati. Later in 2016 talks were continued and in early 2017 it was announced by Radio New Zealand that the Kiribati government had agreed to assign three uninhabited islands in its Line Islands: Malden Island (for the Capital), Caroline Island and Starbuck Island. This may indicate future state recognition, and transformation from micronation to sovereign nation. Later updates clarified that there are plans for an immediate injection of US$120 mln in Kiribati economics that will be followed by US$230 mln of investments in construction of infrastructure at Malden island: hotels, fish factories and more. According to Bakov, "a great number of Russian patriots who are not happy with Putin’s regime" are expected to arrive when the initial constructions are completed.
Former claimed territory
- Suwarrow Atoll discovered by Mikhail Lazarev;
- Antarctica discovered by Lazarev and Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen;
- Bellinghausen Atoll discovered by Otto von Kotzebue;
- Escholtz Atoll discovered by Kotzebue;
- Vostok Island discovered by Bellingshausen;
- Toke Atoll discovered by Kotzebue;
- Tuanake Atoll discovered by Bellingshausen;
- Hiti Atoll discovered by Bellingshausen;
- Erikub Atoll discovered by Kotzebue;
- North Borodino Island discovered by Zakhar Panafidin;
- South Borodino Island discovered by Panafidin;
- Visokoi Island discovered by Bellingshausen;
- Zavadovskiy Island discovered by Bellingshausen;
- Leskov Island discovered by Bellingshausen;
- Lisianski Island discovered by Adam Johann von Krusenstern;
- Panafidin Island discovered by Panafidin;
- Peter I Island discovered by Bellingshausen.
The coat of arms of the "Russian Empire" consisted of a double-headed eagle, holding a Hammer and sickle in its talons. The flag of the empire is the St. Andrew's Cross, which was the Russian Navy Ensign.
With the transformation into the Imperial Throne, the coat of arms was changed to a black Russian Imperial Eagle with the Chi Rho symbol in the escutcheon. Bakov emphasized the Chi Rho symbolizes the formation of the Christian Monarchy in the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great who saw the symbol in the skies before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 AD. The eagle holds in its talons the sceptre and globus cruciger, two of the most prominent symbols of Christian monarchy.
- (in Russian) n:ru:Виртуальная «Российская империя» с одобрения Николая III обретает государственный суверенитет — Russian Wikinews, 15 April 2014
- КОНСТИТУЦИЯ СУВЕРЕННОГО ГОСУДАРСТВА ИМПЕРАТОРСКИЙ ПРЕСТОЛ [Constitution of the Sovereign State of the Imperial Throne]. russianempire.org (in Russian). Retrieved 30 January 2015.
1. Императорский Престол – Суверенное Государство, конституционная монархия, правопреемник Всероссийского Императорского Престола, и предшествовавших ему Римского и Византийского Престолов
- Russian monarchist eyes Kiribati for Romanov revival — Radio New Zealand, 4 January 2017.
- (in Russian) http://ekb.rbc.ru/ekb/28/02/2017/58b54df69a79470bf8881955
- Alexandra Bayazitova; Olga Tropkina; Yelena Shishkunova (1 September 2011). Друг Немцова воссоздал Российскую империю на островке в 168 га [Friend of Nemtsov Recreated the Russian Empire on 168-hectare Island]. Izvestia (in Russian). Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- Rachel Reeves (1 October 2011). "Russians claiming Suwarrow". Cook Islands News. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- "Russian mission foiled by seasickness". Cook Islands News. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- "About". russianempire.org (in Russian). Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- Возрождена Российская империя [Revived Russian Empire]. Babr (in Russian). 2 September 2011. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- "Russian Monarchists launch own party, Romanovs protest". RT. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- Председатель Совета министров Российской Империи выписал Сноудену паспорт [Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian Empire made Snowden a passport] (in Russian). Regions. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- Империя – наше прошлое и будущее? [Empire - Our Past and Future?] (in Russian). Regions. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- Совет министров [Council of Ministers]. russianempire.org (in Russian). Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- (in Russian) http://www.monpartya.ru/news/politicheskaya_iniciativa_nikolaya_kirillovicha.htm
- Гость «Стенда» – Антон Баков, Председатель Монархической партии России [Guest Anton Bakov, President of the Monarch Party of Russia]. Channel4 (in Russian). 2 June 2014. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- Российский политик строит императорский дворец в Черногории (in Russian). 3 June 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- (in Russian) n:ru:В Черногории создаётся антикризисный пророссийский офшор — Russian Wikinews, 11 February 2015
- Archchancellor of Imperial Throne Anton Bakov met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia
- (in Russian) http://www.gosrf.ru/news/19169/
- The official visit of the Archchancellor of the Imperial Throne Anton Bakov to the Republic of Kiribati
- Official site of the new Russian Empire (in Russian)