Following the establishment of a joint Russian electricity market, power prices in Murmansk Oblast are increasing and now approach the federal average. Regional authorities now call on Moscow to step up regional subsidies.
According to Interfax, Murmansk Governor Yuri Yevdokimov this week addressed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with a request to allocate 2,6 billion RUB of federal electricity subsidies. The request comes as Russian authorities are reforming the national energy market with the introduction of harmonized and all-Russian consumer prices. In a transition period, the regions not benefiting from the reform among them Murmansk Oblast get subsidies from the state. However, this year, the federal government have failed to cash out the money, resulting in increasing impatience in regions like Murmansk. So far, Murmansk Oblast has enjoyed low energy prices because of its rich hydro power resources and its nuclear power plant. According to regional officials, Murmansk has until now been able to produce relatively cheap electric energy in an almost isolated energy system.
A step-by-step increase up to SEK 5,5 billion will be added to the annual defense budget following the Ukraine crisis. The cash will partly come by cutting spending on environment and nuclear safety cooperation with Russia.
The president warns against hostile action and terrorism in the Arctic and says regional oil installations must be protected. At the same time, he signs a law, empowering oil companies to establish their own armed forces.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
More than 900 reindeer die of hunger on the Russian Arctic island of Kolguyev following a critical lack of available local pasturelands. The reindeer stocks in the area are too badly managed, regional authorities admit.
Three days processing of visa-applications is history. “Always apply at least 15 days prior to scheduled departure. Our processing time is 10 days,” says Marit Egholm Jacobsen, head of the visa section at Norway’s Consulate General in Murmansk.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.