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Russia starts Arctic industrialization — deputy PM

April 14, 2015, 16:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Arctic region is Russia’s vast mineral wealth, comprising primarily hydrocarbon reserves

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On an island in the Artcic (archive)

On an island in the Artcic (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Press service of the Geological Institute

MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. With the large-scale Arctic exploration Russia is beginning "Arctic industrialization," Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told TASS on Tuesday. "The Arctic should be a model cleanness zone, therefore ecology is among top priorities of the region’s development," he said. "Under the Arctic flag now we, in essence, are launching Arctic industrialization, for which we need much new and good equipment."

The state Arctic development program was approved in 2014, and in early 2015 the decree on the establishment of a state commission that deals with the region’s development was signed. Rogozin was appointed the commission head.

"When I began to delve into the course of Arctic affairs, it turned out that the money that we plan to spend on the region’s development is spread over different federal, target and other programs. It is important to gather these funds together, concentrate and effectively spend. The first task to this end is to conduct a financial audit of all the projects planned for the Arctic," Rogozin said. He said private companies that could recoup the investment through the Northern Sea Route use and offshore operations should be more actively involved in the Arctic development. "This is the right way for the country to derive profit from its geographic location."

"The Arctic region is Russia’s vast mineral wealth, comprising primarily hydrocarbon reserves. In fact, it is a physical confirmation of the unique status of Russia as an outstanding energy power. It guarantees for us independent energy resource supply of our industry," Rogozin said. "But the Arctic is also the Northern Sea Route - the shortest route from Asia to Europe. The Kamchatka Peninsula can become ‘a hub’ for replenishment and repair of ships. Kamchatka is a gateway to the Arctic. Arkhangelsk is another gateway."

Russia’s strategic Artic development program, adopted in 2013, includes development of an integrated transport system in the Arctic, establishment of a competitive scientific and technological sector, development of international cooperation and preservation of the Arctic as a zone of peace.

During the first stage of the program implementation (to 2015) Russia focuses on development of infrastructure for communication and information in the High North, establishment of centers for search and rescue along the Northern Sea Route, strengthening of FSB’s coast guard service and development of an integrated national system for environmental monitoring of the Arctic zone.

The Arctic development program sets the main priorities for state investment policy, regulations of labour relations and social politics in the Arctic zone.

The Russian Arctic zone includes the Murmansk region, Chukotka, the northern part of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, the Republic of Karelia’s coastal territories of the White Sea, the Arkhangelsk region including the cities of Severodvinsk, Novodvinsk, Onezhsky District, Primorsky District, Mezensky District and all the islands of the region. It also includes the towns of Vorkuta and Komi in the Nenets and Yamalo-Nenets federal subjects, the cities Norilsk, Igarka and the Taymyr district of Krasnoyarsk Territory.

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