Russia names new acting Governor of resource-rich Arctic region

The Yamal LNG plant in the port of Sabetta, in the Yamal-Nenets region. Dmitry Artyukhov was named acting Governor of this resource-rich region, Tuesday. (Maxim Zmeyev/AFP/Getty Images)
Dmitry Artyukhov was this week appointed acting Governor of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

Artyukhov officially took over the reigns of the Russian Arctic region after his meeting with Vladimir Putin on Tuesday. He takes over the post from Dmitry Kobylkin, who last week was appointed federal Minister of Natural Resources.

“I am grateful to the Head of State for this show of trust, I will do all I can to meet his expectations,” the new governor says in a statement.

“Everything that has been planned, will be made reality,” he added with reference to the many initiates taken by his predecessor Kobylkin.

Young but highly experienced

The new Yamal-Nenets governor is born in 1988 in Novy Urengoy, the regional oil town. Over the last five years, he has serves as adviser to Kobylkin.

In a comment, the former governor says that Artyukhov represents a “new generation of managers, which is excellently educated and has results and experiences from practical work in the most complicated parts of state government.”

According to Kobylkin, the new regional leader is a key person behind the Northern Latitudinal Passage, the grand new infrastructure project in the region.

Dmitry Kobylkin, pictured here in 2016, was head of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug until he was appointed as Russia’s Minister of Natural Resources. Dmitry Artyukhov was named Tuesday as acting Governor. (Raymond Saint-Pierre/Radio-Canada)

Dmitry Artyukhov has a MBA from the Singapore Management University and has been deputy Governor for the last 2.5 years. He has been leading the Yamal-Nenets government negotiations with leading national oil companies, among them Novatek, Rosneft, Gazprom and Lukoil.

He will serve as acting regional leader until early September when the regional legislative assembly is likely to approve his official instatement as governor.

Land of oil and gas… and reindeer

The Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, which in size is 50 percent bigger than France, was originally inhabited by the indigenous Nenets people. However, the reindeer herders were quickly outnumbered by settlers as vast natural resources were discovered in course of the 20th century.

The Yamal-Nenets region today accounts for about 90 percent of Russia’s natural gas production and an increasing share also of oil extraction. Regional per capita GDP has grown to the second highest in Russia, a level more than twice as high as capital Moscow.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada ill-prepared for Arctic shipping boom, G7 sustainability summit hears, Eye on the Arctic

China: Qingdao plays pivotal role in China’s Arctic strategy, Cryopolitics Blog

Finland: Finnish chemistry professor develops “revolutionary” biofuel, YLE News

Germany: Former UN climate chief speaks out against Arctic drilling, Deutsche Welle’s Iceblogger

Norway: Seeking a greener image, Norway’s Statoil rebrands itself as Equinor, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: France’s Total buys stake in major gas project in Russian Arctic, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Modi’s Sweden trip highlights India’s interest in North, Radio Sweden

United States: World maritime body approves first Arctic ship routing measures, Radio Canada International

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

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

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