“The infrastructure of Solovki should meet modern standards”, Arkhangelsk Deputy Governor Roman Balashov underlines in press release. Balashov, whose position was established exclusively to follow up the major development plans for the archipelago, confirms that the roads on the islands will be upgraded and that connections to the mainland will significantly improved.
According to the deputy governor, two new sea terminals will be built, one for freight shipping and one for passenger and cruise traffic. In addition, the local airport will get new terminal facilities, better navigation equipment, as well as a new runway.
Balashov also argues that Solovki should have a regular sea traffic connection not only to Kem in Karelia, but also to the city of Arkhangelsk. He also intends to improve the sea traffic connections between the islands of archipelago.
As previously reported, Solovki is standing on the threshold of a wave of changes initiated partly by the Russian Orthodox Chuch, partly by federal and regional authorities. In a recent meeting in Moscow, the Kremlin commissioned the federal Ministry of Regional Development with the development of a special federal programme for the region and the regional administration of Governor Igor Orlov with the drafting of an agreement between the long-time conflicting local monastery, museum and the municipal authorities. The meeting which took place on 11 October was lead by Sergei Ivanov, Head of the presidential administration. Present were also Patriarch Kirill, Governor Orlov and a number of high-ranking federal officials.
Roman Balashov, a long-serving top official in the Arkhangelsk regional administration, has been appointed as Deputy Governor for Solovki, a new and specially-designed position.
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.
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.
“Young journalists are the future of cross border communication in the North. We feel it is important to give them a possibility to network and learn about new media”, says Virpi Komulainen, project coordinator of the Barents Mediasphere.