Economic Development Ministry proposes priority development areas in Arctic
The Ministry of Economic Development supports expanding the practice of priority development areas to the Russian Arctic, starting 2017, the minister Alexei Ulyukayev announced, as quoted by Interfax.
"Our request is that priority development areas be extended to the Russian Arctic starting 2017," Ulyukayev said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
The president, however, objected that the Far East must not lose its economically advantageous status. "We could expand special conditions to the entire country but then we would have to figure out something else for the Far East," Putin said.
Ulyukayev said that the current free port regime in the Far East should also be introduced in the major ports on the Northern Sea Route. The head of state replied that not all the ports of federal importance in the region are included in the free port program. For example, the ports in Sakhalin are not on the list.
"If other ports are offering the same benefits there will be no development," Putin said. Presidential Aide Andrei Belousov assured the president that the cabinet will work on the issue.