Vladimir Putin charts high priority Arctic projects
On December 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed high priority projects for the Arctic regions and the federal Government at his news conference. These projects included compliance with environmental standards, military security and upholding the interests of the local indigenous ethnic groups.
He recalled the current Arctic development program that has already been approved and noted that the region's industrial development, including natural resource extraction, should be based on compliance with all requirements.
"This land contains our main mineral reserves. But resource development should go hand in hand with care for nature, meeting all the requirements on economic activity in this very sensitive region. Second, we must ensure security, both environmental security and military security in this region."
President Putin also noted the importance of upholding the interests of small indigenous ethnic groups. "Interfering with their traditional economic activity and so forth is unacceptable. If there are unsurmountable contradictions with major national projects, compensation and substitution measures are needed."
"I remember when I was on Franz Josef Land, where a few years ago foreign guides told tourists: these are the islands that only recently belonged to Russia. They somehow forgot that those are actually Russian islands, but we have reminded them, so everything is in order there now."