After a long-lasting hassle with representatives of northern regions, the Ministry of Regional Development has now approved the list of territories officially acknowledged as part of the Russian Arctic zone. With the new legislation follows a considerable restriction of the areas entitled to get favourable Arctic benefits.
Speaking at the Kirkenes Conference last week, Murmansk Deputy Governor Geogry Stratiy confirmed that all of Murmansk Oblast has been included in the new definition. However, the neighboring regions are not equally lucky. All of the Republic of Karelia has fallen out of the list along with the Republic of Komi. In Arkhangelsk Oblast, only seven municipalities are included in the zone.
According to Murman.ru, the Russian Arctic territories will officially include Murmansk Oblast, the Nenets Autonomous Okrug, the Yamal-Nenets AO, the Chukotka AO, parts of the Yakutia region, as well as the three northernmost municipalities of the Krasnoyarsk Kray. A final decision on the zone is expected to be made by the federal government in an upcoming session.
As previously reported, the Ministry of Regional Development originally proposed to make additional restrictions in the zone. In a first draft bill, only the northernmost coastal areas in Murmansk Oblast were included. The new definition now includes all areas situated to the north of the Arctic Circle.
Status as “Arctic territory” includes favourable taxation and investments, as well as beneficial social and economic conditions for the local population.
The new legislation also includes a number of new rules of conduct in the region, among them within the field of transportation. Infrastructure development will be a priority, and the state, and not private companies, will be in the driver’s seat.
The Murmansk Economic Zone was presented as a miracle cure for regional development and as key facility for the Shtokman project. Today, five years on, regional authorities put their faith in the fish industry.
Renowned Norwegian actress Gørild Mauseth is in the leading role when actors and producers from the Gorky Dramatic Theatre in Vladivostok come to Harstad to present a unique version of Tolsoy’s classic play Anna Karenina.
Nuclear safety projects in the Murmansk region wouldn’t be the same without her contribution. Finnish European Parliament Member Heidi Hautala is today one of 89 Europeans barred from Russia in response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine.
Wistleblower Edward Snowden is winner of this year’s recognized Bjørnson Award, but Norwegian authorities are unlikely to guarantee his safe travel to the award ceremony. The former CIA employee should instead be handed over the award in Pechenga, the Russian borderlands to Norway, a Norwegian university lecturer suggests.