YAKUTSK, June 26. /TASS/. Russia should regain its leading role in development of the Arctic, and an important step there is to adopt a basic law on development of the Russian Arctic regions, speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament (Federation Council) Valentina Matviyenko told a meeting of the Expert Council on the Arctic and Antarctic on Friday.
"The Arctic is quite correctly called a global storage of natural resources," she said. "That is why it, like a magnet, attracts attention from many countries." Russia is capable of protecting its interests in that region, she said, "only by advanced development of its Arctic territories."
"Russia should regain, at a new level, its leading positions in development of the Arctic, which she had quite correctly in the XX century," she said. An important step should be adoption of a "basic, systematic document, which would refer to the specifics of the Arctic zone and which could offer mechanisms for their complex development."
A bill on the issue was presented to the lower house (State Duma) back in 1998, she said, and still remains overdue. Moreover, in 2013 the Russian government said it unreasonable to adopt it as development of the Arctic zone may be regulated by local legal acts, she said.
"I believe, the events of recent two years, make us review this decision," the speaker said. "The Arctic is not only a region of our strategic interests. Russia is a great northern country. The very history and geography many centuries ago set a task for our people of developing those territories.".