Russian Parliament Establishes New Committee on Arctic Affairs

Photo: Kuznetsov Nikita/

Russian Parliament Establishes New Committee on Arctic Affairs

The newly elected Russian Parliament (State Duma) set up its committees and assigned their members. At the 8th Duma, the number of committees grew from 26 to 32. According to Speaker Viacheslav Volodin, this was done to provide the respective federal government’s agencies with their parliamentary counterparts so as to improve the legislature’s ability to both monitor and work together with ministries and other executive bodies. Among the new committees established by the Duma is the Committee for the Development in the Far East and Arctic composed of 14 lawmakers, which is to replace the Committee for Regional Policy and North and Far East, which existed under previous Parliament.

The Committee members are well aware of the issues and challenges faced by Russia in the High North. Most of them either come from Far Eastern and/or Northern provinces or used to be part of the mentioned committee in existence under the previous Duma.

Inauguration of a committee specifically targeting the Arctic is a sign of the growing importance of Arctic-related policies in the Russian decision-making context. It is also a response to an increasing need for new legislation regulating governmental policymaking in respect of the High North -- and a signal that the legislature intends to pay more attention to sustainable development in the Arctic.

The new committee will have to handle a lot of tasks. First and foremost, lawmakers will have to address the lack of legislation for the Russian Arctic. There is a need to urgently draft and approve a bill on permafrost monitoring, a procedure for conducting ethnological studies, as well as regulations aiming to further improve the preferential regimes in the Russian Arctic, reverse the negative demographic trends affecting this country’s northern regions, and upgrade social services and infrastructure.

Arctic Today is a column by PORA CEO Alexander Stotskiy analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.
Alexander Stotskiy
11 October 2021
Arctic Today