Geography
Rogozin slams government agencies drafting Arctic development programs
© RIA Novosti. Sergey Mamontov

Rogozin slams government agencies drafting Arctic development programs

The Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Economic Development have not drafted Arctic development programs as instructed, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told members of the State Commission for Arctic Development, December 13.

"The Ministry of Transport was instructed to draft a concept for developing the Arctic transportation network until 2030. Their proposals can hardly even be called a rough draft. The submitted document's contents do not reflect the transport infrastructure's significance for the entire Arctic region. This is basically just a collection of general words and concepts noting the need to develop, deepen, expand, build roads, aircraft and sea-going vessels. They don't have to tell us this because we already know it," Rogozin said. The ministry's document says nothing about specific deadlines, areas of work or planned expenses.

Similar criticism was aimed at experts of the Ministry of Economic Development.

"The Ministry of Economic Development was instructed to draft a new version of the state program for the socioeconomic development of the Arctic zone and a federal law for Arctic development. This was to become the basic mechanism for the Arctic region's long-term development. The state program's projects were to have received initial funding in 2017, that is, already next month, but there is no program in sight. They have failed to meet deadlines, to say the least," Rogozin said.

The ministries of Education, Natural Resources and Environment and Economic Development did not hold any meetings on Arctic development throughout 2016, Rogozin added. "I will no longer make any calls, nor will I issue endless warnings," he said.

On March 29-30, Arkhangelsk will host the international forum "The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue."  Quite possibly, Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend a meeting of the State Commission for Arctic Development, scheduled to be held during the forum.

"We'll sum up the results of our activity at that meeting. We'll objectively evaluate the performance of various officials and agencies in their respective areas, nothing personal. Those who were chilling out instead of working at the State Commission might find themselves chilling during permanent expeditions on drifting ice floes," Rogozin said.