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Three Russian Regions Vote On Merging

17 April 2005 -- Three Russian regions were holding a referendum today on whether to merge and become Russia's largest single region in terms of territory.

The election in the three Siberian provinces -- Krasnoyarsk, the Taimyr (Dolgano-Nenets), and Yevenk -- was already declared valid by election authorities who said more than 50 percent of possible voters had cast ballots.

The referendum asked voters one question -- do you agree that the three regions should "merge into a single subject of the Russian Federation?"

The new administrative region would retain the name Krasnoyarsk Territory, with special status for the Taimyr and Yevenk autonomous areas.

The new province would cover an area about ten times the size of Germany, but has a population of only some three million people.