New Horizons of state policy in the Arctic
The elevated official status of the participants (the forum was attended by governors and representatives of relevant regional authorities, representatives of 8 federal ministries, 15 departments and 25 senators and deputies of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation) enabled discussion of the most important problems in this field: the prospective development of the region, the upholding of the geo-economic interests of Russia in the Arctic, and the preservation of its unique environment. The main theme of the IX Forum was the new legislative basis for state policy in the Arctic. This year, representatives of public organizations showed increased interest, with 22 delegations from the European Union, BRICS and the Asia-Pacific region sending their delegations to the forum.
More than 300 experts and speakers took part in the 40 events of the Forum’s business programme of panel and working sessions, round tables and conferences.
“Today, a new strategy, new mechanisms and incentives for development are being laid out for the Arctic. This will be discussed at our forum, which has traditionally been the link between all parties interested in the development of the Arctic territories,” stated Arthur Chilingarov, President of The Association of Polar Explorers Interregional Public Organization and special representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Arctic and Antarctica.
Over the next 15 years, there are plans to create up to 200,000 new jobs in the Arctic zone. A federal centre for healthcare development in the Arctic will be opened in Arkhangelsk, and an influx of investment in the polar region is expected to amount to 15 trillion roubles. This will all be possible thanks to the benefits provided by the strategy for development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation for 2035. Alexander Krutikov, Deputy Minister of the Far East and the Arctic, made these and other statements as part of his speech. “A special economic programme can be established in the Arctic zone in 2020,” the speaker emphasised.
Gevork Vermishyan, CEO of forum partner MegaFon PJSC, spoke about the creation of the first trans-arctic telecommunications designed to strengthen Russia’s position in the Arctic by providing the fastest signal with minimal delay. Vladimir Burmatov, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Ecology and Environmental Protection, shared the news that 1 billion 700 million rubles will be allocated for the organisation of the North Pole 2020 scientific expedition. The aim of this project represents the realisation of more than 40 scientific projects. The large-scale project involves the participation of more than 250 Russian scientists from 28 institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences, eight universities, two Rosatom institutes, three Roshydromet institutes, three institutes of the Ministry of Health and five manufacturers of scientific equipment.
An exhibition was organised to support the Forum’s business programme. Leading companies active in the polar region and the Arctic regions of the Russian Federation demonstrated their developments and technologies. The exposition presented samples of the latest icebreaker ships, aircraft, SUVs and all-terrain vehicles, as well as equipment designed to work in difficult climate conditions.
At the end of the forum, the annual results of the public Arctic agenda were summed up. At the beginning of 2020, the final public resolution for 2019 on the practical issues of socio-economic development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and related infrastructure is scheduled for release.