List of Russian Arctic base settlements to be determined by November 1
Approaches and criteria for creating a list of base settlements in the Russian Arctic were discussed at a meeting of the working group on the development of the Arctic under the Russian State Council Commission chaired by Governor of the Murmansk Region Andrey Chibis in Moscow.
“Russia’s Arctic zone covers an enormous area, with the Northern Sea Route being developed here and investment projects implemented that have an impact on the entire world market. In addition, this is the shield and sword of our Motherland. Considering all these components, we must designate base settlements or towns in the context of ensuring all these projects,” said Minister for Development of the Far East and Arctic Alexei Chekunkov.
An expert council was created under the working group, and they prepared proposals for determining approaches and criteria for identifying base settlements in the Russian Arctic.
“Our group has been active for less than a year. But thanks to our cooperation, the topics we have raised have received support. One is the renovation of closed administrative entities. We discussed this recently at a meeting with President of Russia Vladimir Putin as part of his visit to the Murmansk Region. Today, at the parliamentary hearings, Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Anton Siluanov said 10 billion rubles from the federal budget would be allocated annually in the next three years to support restricted administrative territories in the Arctic zone. The areas of preferential mortgages and support cities will also be supported, and there are advising decisions,” the governor emphasized.
Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Federal Structure, Regional Policy, Local Self-Government and Northern Affairs Andrei Shevchenko said that Arctic development centers that are located outside metropolitan areas and that can become centers of attraction for adjacent territories are also important.
“Base settlements are an important element of the economic system in the Arctic. Masterplans must be prepared based on a socioeconomic and spatial analysis of the territory and systematic work with businesses and local people. It is also necessary to think about renovating them. It is important to attract companies that operate in the Arctic,” he concluded.
A list of base settlements in the Russian Arctic is to be determined by November 1, 2023. Eventually, a headquarters for the development of cities and other settlements in the Russian Arctic will develop support measures and review developed masterplans; it will be headed by Andrey Chibis and Alexei Chekunkov.