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New entity formed in Russian Far East

By RIA Novosti

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (Russia) : A new constituent entity, the Kamchatka Territory, officially appeared in Russia Sunday with the merger of two Far Eastern regions.

At a referendum held October 23, 2005, most residents of the Kamchatka Region and the Koryak Autonomous Area voted for the merger of the two regions.

The merger is expected to boost economic growth in the region and help in developing the Koryak Autonomous Area, one of the least populated and poorest regions in Russia located nine time zones east of Moscow.

The Kamchatka is a 1250 km long peninsula in the Russian Far East. The majority of its 402,500 inhabitants are Russians, the dominant minorities being Ukranians and Koryaks. The northern part of the peninsula is known as Koryak Autonomous Region.