Arctic Vibes of the Putin’s Direct Line

Photo: Gernet Nikolai/

Arctic Vibes of the Putin’s Direct Line

On 30 June, President Putin took questions from the public in his annual Direct Line call-in program aired by key Russian TV channels. While answering questions submitted by viewers, the President mentioned the Arctic on several occasions.

First, Mr. Putin spoke about the Russian Far North in the context of the climate issue. “Part of Russia's territory is located in the northern latitudes, in permafrost. If it starts to melt, there will be serious consequences”, he said.

According to the Russian President, there are specific plans to address this challenge. For instance, the government has developed a plan for the country’s response focusing on the most sensitive sectors including construction, roads etc. The President also pledged to give support to the steps taken by the world community in terms of decarbonization. “We will contribute to international efforts and expand our capabilities to absorb CO2 in the atmosphere”, he stated.

Second, the subject of the Russian Arctic was raised in connection with a prospective partial reform of the country’s administrative system. The experience of the Russian Far East and Arctic whose affairs are closely monitored by a specifically designated Vice-Premier -- who also serves as a presidential representative to these territories -- is regarded as an overall success. Therefore, the existing model is likely to be adopted throughout Russia, with other members of the Cabinet put in charge of specific territories in need of federal oversight.

Third, Russia’s being an Arctic country was mentioned as one of its important strategic assets, along with its control of the Northern Sea Route and immense natural riches. All this, according to the Russian President, will help the country secure its place on the world stage as a strong nation.
Alexander Stotskiy
1 July 2021
Arctic Today