First meeting of Council to Develop Far East, Arctic and Antarctic
Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic Alexei Chekunkov attended the first meeting of the Council to Develop the Far East, Arctic and Antarctic, established at the Federation Council of the Russian Federation’s Federal Assembly.
Chekunkov informed the members of the Council on the measures being taken to support macro-regions, the results of the efforts to expedite the development of the Far East and the Arctic, as well as new initiatives aiming to improve the quality of life in the Far East and the Arctic. He set forth the Ministry’s high-priority tasks, including the development of the social sphere, expanded infrastructure and housing construction, providing more accessible transport and support for small and medium-sized businesses.
The Ministry and the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic are also reviewing several dozen new draft social initiatives to boost people’s quality of life in the Russian Far East and Arctic. This includes proposals to resolve migration problems, to improve the standard of education, to expand campuses, to reduce tuition fees and to subsidize higher education institutions. He also mentioned HR support and healthcare projects. “We are working on these initiatives, and we are interested in an all-out public discussion and a search for new tools,” Chekunkov said.
“The agenda of our work will include the development of healthcare, education, employment, the population’s social protection, environmental protection and the development of small and medium-sized businesses,” the Federation Council’s Deputy Speaker and the Council’s Chair Galina Karelova noted.
Those present at the meeting discussed the implementation of the state policy and strategic long-term planning in the Far East and the Arctic, efforts to streamline legislation, measures to expand the transport and logistic infrastructure, to create favorable conditions for improving the quality of life in the Far East and the Arctic, as well as new opportunities for international cooperation and for advancing the Arctic agenda during Russia’s upcoming chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
The attendees also decided to establish two working groups. Alexander Akimov, the former Head of the Federation Council’s Arctic and Antarctic Council, chairs the first group. And Anatoly Shirokov, the former Head of the Council for the Development of the Far East and the Baikal Region, is in charge of the second group.