House Arctic, Antarctic council holds meeting
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Fedorenko

House Arctic, Antarctic council holds meeting

The Federation Council's Expert Council on the Arctic and the Antarctic discussed the draft federal law On the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation at its meeting on May 18, 2015, the press service of the upper house of parliament said.

The meeting was attended by the heads of Federation Council committees, representatives from federal ministries, the Russian government and Russia's Arctic regions.

"Our ministry's position is this: We need a law on the development of the Russian Arctic zone. It should be treated as an integrated document, including, in addition to general provisions, industrial specifics, as well as regional and local specifics of the legal regulation of the Arctic territories," Deputy Economic Development Minister Alexander Tsybulsky said.

According to Tsybulsky, the law should define the parameters of special regulations for economic and other activity in the Arctic zone, provide for effective measures of state support for such activity and establish public/private partnership mechanisms and financial mechanisms for the sustainable development of the Arctic.  

Dmitry Azarov, head of the Federation Council Committee for Regional Policy, Federal Relations, Local Self-Government and the North and representative of the Samara Region executive branch of government, said it was necessary to take into consideration the specifics of the Russian Arctic zone.

According to Azarov, the Arctic region is a high priority in the foreign policy and national interests of a number of countries.  

"Russia's geopolitical and economic interests in the Arctic require the achievement of wide-ranging objectives — the restoration and development of infrastructure, the modernization of ports, the creation of new transport and logistical centers, the modernization of the nuclear powered icebreaker fleet and the development of transport aviation. Many of these objectives should take the import substitution strategy into account, and use the capacity of domestic companies," he said.

The decisions made at the meeting will be finalized and submitted for the consideration of a joint session of the expert council presidium and the heads of Russian Arctic regions, which will take place on June 27 in Yakutsk.