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Putin sees development of Arctic as an undeniable priority for Russia

The Russian leader stressed that the Arctic zone was a region with enormous economic opportunities

ARKHANGELSK, December 11. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin considers the development of the Arctic an undeniable priority, since the region is of critical importance for the country's defense, logistics and energy.

"The Arctic zone has a special, strategic significance for us. It is a region with enormous economic opportunities," the head of state said at a meeting on the development of backbone settlements in the Arctic zone of Russia.

"We largely associate the strengthening of the energy potential of our country, expansion of logistics capabilities, ensuring national security and defense with it (the Arctic region - TASS) and therefore the further comprehensive development of these territories is an indisputable priority for us," Putin stressed.

At the current meeting, the President proposed to focus on such issues as "people’s quality of life, the modern view and future of northern cities and towns - both new ones founded in the 20th century, and cities with a centuries-old history."

"All of them, of course, are symbols, the embodiment of a huge will, a colossal role, one might say, audacity, labor, courage of many generations of our ancestors and our contemporaries, who have also developed and are developing the north," the head of state said. Putin drew attention to the fact that "today millions of people live in the region, work, start families, raise children and make a huge contribution to the development of the entire country."

Masterplans for cities

Putin recalled that at the Eastern Economic Forum in September, the consideration of masterplans for cities and towns in the Russian Far East was completed. In total, the socio-economic development programs of 22 cities were analyzed. "The implementation of these projects is already underway," he stated.

According to the President, "the experience gained should become the basis for the formation of similar projects for other territories - and first of all for the Arctic zone of Russia."

Putin clarified that "the government has instructions to determine a list of backbone cities in the Russian Arctic, for which an appropriate program and development plans should be prepared."

He said that this list included 16 settlements and large agglomerations, adding that the masterplan for Anadyr has already been approved.

"The approaches that were used to prepare it, as well as in the preparation of masterplans for other Far Eastern cities, can become a good basis for the work ahead," Putin said.

In his opinion, "it is important that the masterplan is based on a realistic, economical model of city development, based on which spatial decisions should be made and the creation of the necessary infrastructure and housing should be planned."