Kazan's Smart City is just one of many projects for which Russia's Muslim republics have sought funding from Gulf states.
(KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)
As Russia's economy continues to stagnate, the country's 83 regions are being forced to compete with one another for outside investment to stay afloat. The quest for funding was a popular theme at the recent St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where regional governments and corporations tried to woo foreign partners and financiers. Some regions have focused their campaigns on Asia and Europe: The Kaluga and Kaliningrad provinces, for example, have signed investment deals with Bavaria, and Kaluga's governor visited Vietnam earlier in the year seeking funding. But four of Russia's Muslim republics -- Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Chechnya and Dagestan -- have set their sights on Muslim states in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, a strategy that has put Moscow on edge....
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