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New infrastructure for Solovki

Tourists, the church clergy and the local population will get smoother connections to Solovki. Photo: Thomas Nilsen/BarentsObserver

The White Sea archipelago will get new port facilities, better roads and improved air and sea connection with the mainland.

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“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.