Top Arctic stories of the week, 17 -- 21 January 2022

Photo: Balakin Vadim/

Top Arctic stories of the week, 17 -- 21 January 2022

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.

Federal Government approves a loan for a major infrastructure project in Yamal

In the near future, yet another major infrastructure project in the Russian High North will be launched -- the Federal Government has okayed the allocation of USD 650 million for the construction of a bridge across the Ob River in Yamal to connect two cities, Labytnangi and Salekhard, the region’s capital. The project will be financed through the infrastructural loan mechanism. Building the bridge is expected to spur the economic growth in the region, improve its connectivity and make Yamal’s supply chains less costly and more reliable. Read more…

Number of Arctic economic residents grew sevenfold

The number of businesses applying for residential status in Russia’s Arctic Special Economic Zone keeps steadily growing. According to the Ministry for the Russian Far East and Arctic, more than 300 companies now have this status and enjoy the benefits associated therewith. In the coming years, these businesses intend to invest into the Arctic more than USD 5.8 billion and create about 14,500 new jobs. In January 2021, a total of 41 companies were registered as Russian Arctic economic residents with a planned investment portfolio of some USD 2.4 billion. This means that within a year, the number of new Arctic-oriented business projects grew more than sevenfold, while their investments more than doubled. Read more…

New design code for the High North sees the light of the day

A new model design code has been approved for use in Arctic settlements. It will serve as a reference guide when implementing landscaping and urban development projects in the Russian High North. The document summarizes standards and recommendations applicable to urban projects in the Arctic in the context of specific climate and geographical features of the region such as extreme low temperatures, frequent fog, snowfalls, storms, blizzards, polar night and day etc. Introducing these design guidelines will help to make Arctic settlements more comfortable, friendly and people-oriented. Read more…

Government will come up with a plan for a new polar railway line

The project to create a transport cluster linked to the planned Indiga Port on the Barents Sea coast in the Arctic took another important step forward. President Putin instructed the Federal Government to design a plan to construct a railway line for this port by 10 May 2022. A new line will link Indiga, an ice-free deep water sea port scheduled for completion for 2025, with the national railway network, thus adding another gateway to the Northern Sea Route. Read more…

Minister Chekunkov outlined Russia’s priorities in the Arctic

Alexei Chekunkov, Russian Minister for the Far East and Arctic, gave an interview focused on key short-term priorities of Arctic development. According to him, warming is a grave challenge to the Russian Arctic, with permafrost thawing being of special concern. To be able to forecast changes that may affect buildings and infrastructure, a permafrost monitoring system is being designed. However dangerous, warming may also spur development in the High North by opening up access to new resources and agricultural lands. The Northern Sea Route Read is expected to make a solid contribution to the development in the Russian Arctic, with about 80 million tons of cargo being transported annually through this major Arctic cargo line. The Government will invest into launching a commercial container lane and fostering domestic shipping on the NSR. Read more…
Alexander Stotskiy
21 January 2022
Arctic Weekly