Press release from the Association of Polar Explorers
Over two days, the 9th international forum “Arctic: Today and the future” held 2 plenary sessions, more than 35 panel and working sessions, conferences and round tables, more than 300 speakers made speeches in the framework of the business program. The discussion events were attended by delegates from 38 regions of Russia and 22 foreign countries.
The first word at the plenary session “Regions as key participants in the development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation” was taken by the Special Representative of the President of Russia for International Cooperation in the Arctic and Antarctic, President of the Association of Polar Explorers Arthur Chilingarov.
«Today, a ministry and a state commission for the development of the Arctic have been created in Russia, and a professional holiday, Polar Day, has been established. Five years ago we could only talk about this. Much has been done, but much remains to be done», – Arthur Chilingarov said.
At the plenary meeting, regional leaders spoke about the experience of the development of Arctic entities. Murmansk region is developing a program aimed at improving the quality of life. The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) will prepare a regional development strategy until 2035. In the next 5 years, about 1 million square meters of emergency housing will be resettled in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.
Representatives of the Komi Republic and the Magadan Region made proposals to expand the Arctic zone of Russia.
«We propose to include Intinsky, Usinsky and Ust-Tsilemsky districts of the Komi Republic in the Arctic zone. This step will give impetus to the development of the entire macroregion», – Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Komi Republic Konstantin Lazarev said.
The Magadan region is not a resident of the Arctic zone of Russia, but it has a number of grounds, according to them it can be included in its composition, Tatyana Savchenko, deputy chairman of the regional government explained.
Anatoly Tsykalov, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, said that the «Yenisei Siberia», large-scale industrial project, which was projected to provide up to 25 thousand new jobs, continued to be formed on the territory of the subject. In addition, work is underway in the region to create ethnic villages for indigenous peoples.
First Deputy Governor of the Arkhangelsk Region Alexey Alsufiev confirmed that the region was ready to become the basis for the creation of the first scientific and educational center in the Arctic.
In order for all the projects, announced by the regions, to be implemented, a new legislative basis for state policy in the Arctic zone of Russia is needed. This topic was put at the center of the plenary session “New Horizons of State Policy in the Arctic”, where the Ministry of Development of the Far East and the Arctic made a number of statements. A special economic regime can be established in the Arctic zone in 2020, investments in the modernization of the region will amount to 15 trillion rubles, 200 thousand new jobs are expected to be created in the Arctic zone within 15 years, they are going to open a federal center for healthcare development in Arkhangelsk – all this will be ensured thanks to the benefits provided by the development strategy of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation until 2035, Deputy Minister Alexander Krutikov reported about this.
According to the initiative of the Association of Polar Explorers and the State Duma Committee on Ecology and Environmental Protection, 1 billion 700 million rubles will be allocated for the organization of the scientific expedition “North Pole 2020,” committee chairman Vladimir Burmatov said.
The State Duma is interested in promoting the initiatives that are provided in the new package of documents on the development of the Arctic zone, Valentina Pivnenko, the first deputy chairman of the State Duma committee on regional policy and problems of the North and Far East stressed.
According to Senator Alexander Akimov, infrastructure development is needed to improve the situation in the Arctic. Without the construction of roads and railways, the construction of new airports, it will be difficult to develop the Arctic, the speaker noted.
Today, 102 objects, representing an environmental hazard, have been identified in the Arctic zone of Russia. According to the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Regional Policy and Problems of the North and the Far East, Vladimir Pushkarev, the solution of environmental problems in the Arctic is possible only by combining the efforts of state corporations, regions and large industrial companies.
Successful cooperation between Russia and the USA in the Bering region is the key to the development of the entire Arctic. This was stated by Ambassador on special instructions of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nikolai Korchunov. He noted that the global nature of the problems in the Bering region required a joint search for solutions and implied an open dialogue between the two states in various fields.
The creation of the first transarctic communication line will strengthen Russia’s position in the Arctic, Gevork Vermishyan, Genearal Director of MegaFon said.
Denis Solovyov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of NOVATEK, said that the company was going to strengthen work on social projects in the Arctic.
At the forum, cooperation agreements were signed between the Association of Polar Explorers and the Ministry for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic. The Rossiya Joint-Stock Bank entered into two agreements with the Committee for Arctic Affairs of St. Petersburg and ITMO Highpark.
Within the framework of the forum, a meeting of the Association of Polar Explorers Council was also held. It was decided to declare 2021 the year of the Arctic in our country in the year of the chairmanship of Russia in the Arctic Council. January 28, the day of the discovery of Antarctica, can be a memorable date. According to Arthur Chilingarov, this initiative has already been reported to the head of state.
In support of the business program of the forum, a large-scale exhibition worked in the exposition space for two days. Its exhibitors were the largest companies and enterprises operating in the Arctic, as well as the Arctic regions.
The forum ended with a cultural program in the Russian Ethnographic Museum, where the exhibition “Arctic: inhabited land” was taking place those days.
The 9th international forum “Arctic: Today and the future” was supported by Megafon, Gazprom Neft and Novatek in the status of partners. Russia Today and the Russian News Agency TASS were the general information partners of the forum.
Date of publication: 6 Dec 2019
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