Photo: Kuznetsov Nikita/GeoPhoto.ru
Arctic Commission Focuses on Northern Sea Route
On 15 November 2021, a session of the State Commission for Arctic Development -- the key institution responsible for coordination of policies implemented by various decision-making bodies in the Russian Arctic -- took place in Moscow. Below is a recap of the key points and decisions made during the meeting:
- According to Vice-Premier Yuri Trutnev who chaired the session, Russia’s main task in the Arctic is to increase the amount of freight on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) to 80 million metric tons per year by 2024 (as of 2021, this figure is 35 million tons).
- Owing to the world freight crisis, the toll for passing the Suez Canal has increased considerably, which opens up a window of opportunity for the NSR. However, to meet the expectations of potential clients, steps should be taken to improve the navigation safety on the NSR.
- In this light, the Transport Ministry has suggested commissioning more icebreakers, as well as ice-class salvage tugs and boom-laying boats to be operated by the Marine Rescue Service. The State Commission has approved the idea by instructing the Transport Ministry and the Rosatom Corporation to consider constructing several additional icebreakers with an installed power of 18 MW to be deployed in the Eastern Sector of the NSR.
- In turn, the Emergency Ministry has come up with an initiative to set up a network of multitask operation centers in the Russian Arctic, with an emphasis being put on being present in the areas hosting big development projects and those related to the NSR. Apart from this, the Ministry intends to deploy search-and-rescue resources in such Arctic port cities as Sabetta, Pevek, Dikson and Tiksi.
- With healthcare being an important component of sustainable development in the Arctic, Arkhangelsk regional authorities have suggested establishing a federal Arctic medical center. This idea is being promoted by the Federal Medical and Biological Agency (FMBA), the Far East and Arctic Ministry, and the Oblast’s government. In response to this initiative, the Commission has instructed the Health Ministry together with the FMBA and the Far East and Arctic Ministry to conduct a feasibility study and draft a plan to be presented to the Federal Government.
16 November 2021