Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development wants 210 billion rubles for Arctic regions

Dikson is one of the Arctic towns hoping for federal investments. (Thomas Nilsen/The Independent Barents Observer)
Russia’s new Arctic program has been coordinated with all government bodies, except the Ministry of Finance, the program developers say.

Sources of program financing will soon be discussed by government, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Aleksandr Tsybulsky said during this week’s Sochi 2017 investment forum. It is Tsybulsky and his ministry which has elaborated the document.

The program covers the period until 2025. It was recently submitted to government.

According to Tsybulsky, the lion’s share of investments will be made after 2019. Among the biggest planned projects is the construction of the new class of nuclear-powered icebreakers, the so-called Lider, he says in a ministry press release.

A total of 210 billion rubles (€3.38 billion) is needed for program development, the ministry argues. It has been approved by all other ministries. Only not with the Ministry of Finance.

Arctic Support Zones

According to newspaper Kommersant, the development of so-called Arctic Support Zones constitutes a central priority in the new program. One specialized zone is to be developed in each of the key Arctic regions, in total eight.

The zones are to help develop the potential of the Northern Sea Route and facilitate exports of ores and other natural resources.

Up to two thirds of the 210 billion are planned spent alone on zone development, the newspaper reports.

The new program will replace the previous Arctic Social-Economic Development Program adopted in 2014 and meant to cover the period until 2020.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Gold miner Agnico Eagle to invest $1.2B in two Canadian Arctic mines, Radio Canada International

Finland: Commodities firm takes 15 percent stake in Terrafame troubled mine, Yle News

Greenland: Greenland pioneers Arctic tourism & mining, Cryopolitics Blog

Norway: Barents Sea oil champions get more licenses from Norwegian government, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: On remote Russian Arctic coast, a grand coal project in the making, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Relocation of Arctic town underway in Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States:  Ice-Blog: Record permafrost erosion in Alaska bodes ill for Arctic infrastructure, blog by Irene Quaile, Deutsche Welle

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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