Top Arctic stories of the week, 11 -- 15 October 2021

Photo: Gernet Nikolay/

Top Arctic stories of the week, 11 -- 15 October 2021

Below is a recap of this week’s posts by Alexander Stotskiy (CEO, Project Office for Arctic Development) analyzing major international, national and regional events and trends in the Arctic.

Arctic strategy of the EU: a challenge to Russia

The European Commission produced a new strategy document setting the Union’s new goals in the High North. The document stipulates that, as a geopolitical power, the EU has strategic and day-to-day interests both in the European Arctic and the broader Arctic region. With climate change being positioned as a key threat to the Arctic, the EU announced a policy envisaging putting hard restrictions on oil, coal and gas development in the High North. However, this policy appears to be in clear contradiction with Russia’s interests as a hydrocarbon producing country. Read more

List of initiatives for social and economic development in the Arctic okayed by the Government

The Government of Russia approved the list of initiatives aimed at fostering economic growth in the country until 2030. The list defines which focal areas are to receive support from the federal authorities, as well as a major chunk of investments. In total, there are 42 such initiatives broken down into 6 categories. Many of these initiatives directly apply to the Arctic and the opportunities its development provides. Read more

Foothold settlements in the Russian Arctic to receive governmental support

More than 130 cities and villages in the Russian Arctic were selected as so-called foothold settlements following the findings of a joint study by two think-tanks. In terms of territorial planning in the Russian Arctic, foothold settlements are those that have the potential to serve as hubs for further expansion and development in the region. Such settlements will be eligible for targeted governmental funding aimed at supporting their foothold role. Read more

New law to oblige owners of hazardous facilities to fund reclamation

The Russian Government drafted a bill to introduce much stricter regulations in respect of resource use and management. The bill, inter alia, imposes on owners of so-called hazardous facilities such as refineries and chemical plants a duty to restore damage done to the environment in the course of their operation. The draft has already been okayed by the governmental lawmaking commission and will be submitted to the parliament for approval. If passed by the State Duma, new requirements will come into effect on 1 September 2022. Read more

Russian Parliament establishes a new committee on the Arctic

The newly elected State Duma (Russian Parliament) completed setting up its committees and assigning their members. Among the new committees established by the Duma is the Committee for 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 that existed under previous Parliament. Establishing a committee specifically targeting the Arctic is a sign of the growing importance of the region to Russia in strategic terms. Read more
Alexander Stotskiy
15 October 2021
Arctic Weekly