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Russian President Wants to Eliminate Time Zones

13. November 2009 by James 0 Comments

During his address to the nation this week, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed eliminating some of Russia’s eleven time zones.

 

If the proposal becomes law, it means at the same time residents of Vladivostok are starting their day, their Chinese neighbors just across the border will be sitting down to lunch.

 

Address

Under President Medvedev’s proposal the seven hour time difference between Moscow and Anadyr located on the Pacific coast would be just a few hours. "The examples of other countries — the U.S., China — show that it is possible to cope with a smaller time difference," Medvedev said in his annual state-of-the-nation speech. "We need to examine the possibility of reducing the number of time zones."

 

How Big is Russia? 

Russia covers one-ninth of the world's land mass. In the West, Kaliningrad is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. While in East, Chukotka, located across the Bering Strait from Alaska, is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

 

Less than 25% of Russia's 142 million people live in an area that makes up two-thirds of Russia. The majority of Russians live west of the Ural Mountains which separates Europe and Asia.

 

Medvedev was not specific on how many zones would be abolished but most economic experts agree that Russia would be reduced to just four time zones. One zone for the west including Kaliningrad, one for Moscow, a zone for the Ural Mountains region, and one that would include Siberia and the Far East.

 

Pros & Cons 

Supports of Medvedev proposal say that the reduced time zones will bring the nation closer together and build more loyalty of Far Eastern citizens towards the government in Moscow. But many critics warn that it could have the opposite effect.

 

"I can't fathom it," Lilia Shevtsova, a political analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center, said of the proposal. "It is potentially life-changing for some people, for the sake of convenience in Moscow."