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Analysts list Arctic cities liable for state support

According to the expert, absolute leaders in terms of functions are Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Nadym, Naryan-Mar, Norilsk, Noyabrsk, Novy Urengoi and Tarko-Sale
View of Norilsk Kirill Kukhmar/TASS
View of Norilsk
© Kirill Kukhmar/TASS

MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Norilsk, Anadyr, Vorkuta, Dudinka and another 125 cities in the Russian Arctic zone may receive state support as backbone settlements of the Russian Arctic, Deputy Director General of the state commission on the Arctic development’s information and analytical center, Maxim Dankin, told TASS.

The information and analytical center at the state commission and the institute of regional consulting have conducted a research to identify in the Russian Arctic zone 131 backbone settlements, which may receive targeted state support. Among those settlements are four shift-workers’ towns - Sabetta, Varandei, Bovanenkovo and Yamburg.

"Absolute leaders in terms of functions are Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Nadym, Naryan-Mar, Norilsk, Noyabrsk, Novy Urengoi and Tarko-Sale," the expert said. "Many functions are typical for Anadyr, Vorkuta, Dudinka, Labytnangi, Turukhansk. Accordingly, those settlements may rely on a wide range of incentives."

During the studies, specialists analyzed 256 settlements with the total population above 500 people. They used 57 criteria, including location of medical and educational organizations, logistics infrastructures, distances to licensed natural resources’ deposits, etc. The identified settlements were grouped accordingly, and later on every group may be liable for certain state incentives.

"Take for example Norilsk, which is a backbone city in domestic security, as well as a cargo and passenger hub, an important social and cultural center, including in medical services, a base in innovative and information services for the Arctic zone’s social and economic development, and additionally it is a mining center," the scientist said.

Vorkuta, which unfortunately often is considered a mono-industrial city, the experts say, is a multi-functional transport hub, an important center of medical services. It is a home for major bases of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations, thus it is a domestic security center. The city plays an important role in innovative and information services for the Russian Arctic zone’s social and economic development.

Support measures

A set of state support for transport and logistics centers could include safe and high-quality communication, support for multimodal shipments, higher capacity of transport hubs, upgrade and construction of runways and additional hubs, Dankin said.

The centers of minerals and raw materials may receive support in organization of new university and college programs, support in organization of test ranges and laboratories, special centers to collect and process data.

Any city may be included in several categories and thus will be liable to different forms of support, like, for example, for transport and for education systems.

Important cities

With the state support, the backbone settlements are expected to form a base for development of the entire Russian Arctic. The scientists have come to the conclusion that Arctic cities are playing important roles and the existing opinions they are of minor importance and may exist only as shift-work bases are wrong. The modern economy is impossible without cities, which function on a permanent basis.

"It is most important to realize that cities in the Arctic are centers of healthcare and of life quality, they are centers to preserve and develop culture, including the culture of the North’s low-numbered indigenous peoples. <…> Arctic cities are unique centers to design special technologies to develop the Arctic, to organize test ranges there. The cities are also most important in terms of training centers: training in the Arctic eliminates the adaptation problem, when human resources are brought to work at enterprises in the Arctic zone," the scientist said.

At the same time, he continued, there are activities, which are impossible and unreasonable from outside the Arctic. Those are scientific, research and service activities. They must be located close to enterprises. For example, management systems in the raw-materials sectors must be most close to the deposits. Locating managing structures in the Arctic cities guarantees the mineral centers will develop effectively.

"Thus, Arctic cities are a top important element of the Arctic’s economic system, a "power machine" for its development. They are used to launch and support resource projects, they play an important role in stability and adaptation of human resources, in the sustainable development of the nation, including representatives of the low-numbered indigenous peoples," the expert told TASS.