EXPERT: Russia Launches Second Wave of Arctic Development
2021-06-09 06:30

EXPERT: Russia Launches Second Wave of Arctic Development

The second wave of Arctic development has begun in Russia. Andrey Ivanov, program coordinator of the Project Office for Arctic Development (PORA), told Made in Russia that the law passed today by the State Duma, which makes it easier to do business in the Arctic zone, could be an important element of this systemic work, but the government must develop the infrastructure in the region to make it comfortable for business.

"Russia has entered a new era, which can be called the second wave of Arctic development. It's necessary to look at the new law in a historical perspective and in a broader context. It is a continuation of the law on state support for entrepreneurship in the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation (ASRF), which was signed last year, and a number of policy documents," Ivanov shared with the "Made in Russia" project.

At the same time, he stressed that the law should only be one element of the state's work to develop the Arctic.

"It should be understood that this is a tactic on a longer strategic run. Now a government document has come out containing 268 projects to be implemented as part of geopolitics - the 268 Plan," as I call it. But the key thing is not only about creating documents. First of all the state in the Arctic needs to support the development of infrastructure - transport, which includes small airports, small fleets and the river fleet" - the expert believes.

"The efforts of the state in relations to the development of the Northern Sea Route are noticeable, but insufficient attention, efforts and finances are given to the development of the coastal infrastructure, the capillary ecosystem, which feeds the Northern Sea Route. To make it acquire the role we are aiming at, it is necessary to solve onshore tasks", he continued.

It is also necessary for the implementation of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) projects, the expert assured.

Ivanov explained that the main difficulty of any production in the Arctic is the high unit costs of transport, delivery of components and the higher cost of labour.

"Therefore, the bill is useful precisely in the general line of work. But it is not enough," he stressed.

In his view, the process of development of the Arctic, as well as the development of SMEs in the region, can be greatly accelerated by scientific and technological progress.

"Of course, the transition to renewable energy will not happen overnight, it is a qualitative challenge, an evolutionary path. We ourselves are not calling for an abrupt adventure, it's impossible. But within the framework of renewal of all the mentioned segments we can already focus on making ships on liquefied natural gas, on hybrid technology, where diesel is used," - he explained.

Ivanov also said that the country already has a lot of scientific developments, which could be used in the Arctic.

"PORA gives grants of up to 100 thousand rubles, for three years it has already issued more than 200 grants, including grants for scientists, for new developments. We know that there are a lot of scientific and applied developments, we are trying to support scientists... In the romantic era of 70s the task was to create mining industry. The task of the new era is to develop the resource potential and to realize the transport potential. And the basis for this will be, above all, the development of technology," concluded Ivanov.

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Author: Ksenia Gustova