Governors’ elections will be abolished and the governance of Arctic territories is likely to be transferred to a new Ministry of the Arctic.
Following the establishment of a Ministry of the Crimea, the Ministry of the North Caucasus and the Ministry of the Far East, the turn appears to have come to the North.
A representatives of the Russian presidential administration confirms that the establishment of the ministry now is on the agenda. ”This is a strategically important region for the country, [and] a structure which can centralize all operations is absolutely needed”, the representative says to newspaper Kommersant.
A list of leader candidates for the new structure is now being made and the issue wll soon be handed over to the government, the newspaper writes. Among the possible candidates for the job is Dmitry Kobylkin, current head of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, as well as presidential adviser Artur Chilingarov.
The latter during the ongoing Murmansk Business Week announced that he himself is ready to head the new structure, RBCTV reports.
The discussions over the new structure comes as the regional parliaments of four Arctic regions decide to abolish direct governor elections. The regions, all of them socalled autonomous okrugs, will from now on be governed by leaders indirectly appointed by Moscow.
The Kremlin has over the last years established several territorial-dedicated ministries, the latest of them on the development of the Crimea in May this year. However, unlike the other new ministries, a ministry on the Arctic would include far bigger territories and far less people. If established, it would be responsible for developments stretching from the Barents Sea in the west to the Bering Strait in the east.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Canada’s foreign affairs minister talks Arctic, Ukraine with Norway, Eye on the Arctic
Iceland: Arctic Circle 2014: Welcome to the new global Arctic, Mia Bennett
Russia: Putin’s territories: from Crimea to Chukotka, Mia Bennett
United States: Can an aggressive Russia remain U.S.’s nice Arctic neighbor?, Alaska Public Radio Network