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Investment in Arctic expected to reach $235 bln in 15 years, says ministry

ST. PETERSBURG, December 5. /TASS/. The Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic expects around 15 trillion rubles ($235 bln) to be invested in the Arctic within the next 15 years due to subsidies envisioned by the development strategy for Russia’s Arctic zone through 2035, Deputy Minister Alexander Krutikov said on Thursday.

"Those subsidies only will secure 15 trillion rubles worth of private investments in the Arctic within the next 15 years," he said.

The strategy and bills on subsidies, which have already been submitted to the State Duma (lower house of parliament), stipulate a wide range of tax incentives, particularly on mineral production, Krutikov said. For example, mineral extraction tax will stand at 5% within 15 years starting from first commercial production.

"On gas production for LNG (liquefied natural gas) production and high refining of gas-to-chemicals - 0% within 15 years," deputy minister said, adding that subsidies for those investing in crude production in new fields in the eastern Arctic zones will be provided, with zero mineral extraction tax within 15 years. He also noted that the Far East Development Fund might earmark up to 15 bln rubles ($235 mln) for implementation of Arctic projects in 2020.

The basis of Russia's state policy in the Arctic through 2020 is defined by the document signed in 2008 by Dmitry Medvedev, who was President of the Russian Federation at that time. On November 30, the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic said that it had finalized the work on the draft strategy for development of Russia’s Arctic zone through 2035.