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Deputy Prime Minister – Plenipotentiary of the President in the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev held a meeting of the State Commission on the Development of the Arctic in Moscow. They discussed the modernization and expansion of the main infrastructure, the implementation of the project of the international Arctic station “Snezhinka”, the use of technologies to reduce the level of pollution in the seas of the Arctic zone and other issues.

Yuri Trutnev chaired a meeting of the State Commission on the Development of the Arctic

“In accordance with the instructions of President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, work continues on the development of the Arctic region. In the first half of 2021, the Russian Government adopted a new version of the state program “Socio-economic development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation”, approved a unified action plan for the implementation of the Fundamentals of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic and the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone and Ensuring National Security for the Period up to 2035 … On June 1, 2021, Russia was transferred to the post of chairman of the International Arctic Council. The concept of chairmanship and a plan providing for more than 100 events in 10 main directions have been approved, ”Yuri Trutnev said opening the meeting.

The issue of the feasibility of including the project for the construction of the Obskaya – Bovanenkovo ​​- Sabetta railway corridor in the Comprehensive Plan for the Modernization and Expansion of the Main Infrastructure for the Period until 2024 was considered. “The work is being carried out on behalf of the President of the Russian Federation. The project of the Northern Latitudinal Railway – 2 is designed for a cargo base of more than 9 million tons per year. It will help to resolve the issue of transportation of products from the Yamal fields to the routes of the Northern Sea Route, ”recalled Yuri Trutnev.

The Ministry of Energy, together with the government of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, with the participation of PJSC Gazprom, developed and submitted to the Government of Russia the concept of a comprehensive program for the development of the resource potential of the Yamal Peninsula. A comprehensive study of the parameters for the development and logistics of the mineral resource base of Yamal is being carried out, including the development of an optimal scheme for the transportation of liquid hydrocarbons. It is planned to complete the development of a comprehensive program by October 2021.

After the completion of the development of the integrated program, the Ministry of Transport will clarify the configuration of the infrastructure of the Obskaya – Bovanenkovo ​​- Sabetta railway corridor in terms of the need to develop additional port facilities in Yamal and will present the final parameters of the project.

This year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, within the framework of the state program “Development of the electronic and radio-electronic industry”, will launch experimental design work to create an integrated radio navigation system that provides consumers in the Arctic zone with information to determine coordinates and exact time based on ground-based radio navigation technologies. The work is carried out in accordance with the Presidential Decree “On the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensuring National Security for the Period until 2035”.

An integrated radio engineering system will be developed within the framework of the Alternative-N design and development project. The advantage of this system will be both its interface with global navigation systems (GLONASS, GPS and others), and the possibility of autonomous operation in noise-immune modes. “The completion of the ROC“ Alternative-N ”is planned for December 2023, funding is provided in the amount of 2.5 billion rubles (annual funding is expected in the amount of 836 million rubles). Now competitive procedures are underway to determine the organization of the industry, ready to carry out the development of this system, ”explained Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Alexei Bezprozvannykh.

Proposals for the mandatory use of the best available technologies aimed at reducing the level of pollution of the seas of the Arctic zone were discussed. The Ministry of Industry and Trade proposes to develop pilot projects aimed at expert assessment of the application of the best available technologies, preparation of programs to improve environmental efficiency, testing of the best available technologies and environmental practices for processing and using secondary resources.

The Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov reported on plans to create an international Arctic station Snezhinka as a scientific and educational platform for researchers and developers of new technologies in the Arctic during Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023. Based on the results of consideration of proposals from five constituent entities of the Federation, two options were selected – the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District and the Murmansk Region. On the territory of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, a station will be created to conduct scientific research in the harsh climatic conditions of permafrost based on renewable sources of wind and solar energy and hydrogen energy. In the Murmansk region, it is planned to place a station on a mixed power supply for the implementation of scientific and educational programs.

Proposals were heard on the development of a hydrometeorological observation network in the Arctic. According to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Alexander Kozlov, the network that is working now is insufficient. Due to the lack of marine observations in the Eastern Arctic, forecast accuracy is reduced by 4–6%. It is necessary to update the power equipment and communication systems of most of the stations, equip them with modern measuring instruments. The modernization of the observation network of Roshydromet began this year. It is planned to fully upgrade 32 stations by 2024 and partly to 136.

There are 240 observation posts in the Arctic zone. Most follow meteorology, only 33 follow hydrology, and 27 provide upper-air data. It is necessary to increase the density of the observational network, including the installation of automatic measuring instruments in hard-to-reach places, local observational systems in seaports, and meteorological stations on ships.

An important part of a comprehensive study of the state of the environment, especially in the context of climate change, will be the state monitoring system for permafrost soils. The Ministry of Natural Resources has prepared proposals for amending the legislation. The creation of a network for monitoring permafrost soils until 2035 will require about 1.6 billion rubles. “According to scientists, the likely damage from the melting of permafrost by 2050 could reach an average of 5 trillion rubles. Incomparable figures on the predicted damage and on the costs of creating a monitoring network. Based on the data received, we must learn to predict the consequences and prevent accidents, ”says Alexander Kozlov.

The list of types of economic activities that will be supported within the framework of the state program of concessional lending to residents of the Arctic zone, implemented by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, has been approved. It included 72 types of economic activities related to such sectors as health care, education, transport, agriculture, fish farming, production of building materials, machinery and equipment, construction, trade, information technology, tourism.

The program for the provision of state-subsidized loans at a reduced rate to residents of the Arctic zone was approved in December 2020 by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. Under the program, the final loan rate is below the market rate by one and a half of the key rate of the Central Bank, the lower limit is set at 2% per annum. The cost of an investment project applying for concessional financing should be from 10 million to 2.5 billion rubles, and if it is implemented by several borrowing companies at once, then the upper bar is 5 billion rubles. The initiator of the project is required to invest at least 30% of its own funds and ensure the creation of new jobs. According to the Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, Alexei Chekunkov, six authorized banks (Moscow Industrial Bank, VTB, Sberbank, Gazprombank, Sovcombank, Otkritie) have been selected to implement the program, the volume of initial loan applications is about 4 billion rubles.

A separate issue on the agenda was the discussion of the admission of applicants to Arctic universities for the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 academic years. The number of budget-funded places in the universities of the Arctic zone is growing steadily (about 10% annually). The volume of admission control figures set for universities located in the Arctic zone (16 universities with branches) for the 2021/2022 academic year amounted to 5,313 budget-funded places, which is 477 places (+ 9.41%) more than the 2020/2021 academic year … For the 2022/2023 academic year, 5830 budget places have been determined, which is 517 places (+ 9.73%) more than this year. To promptly meet the personnel needs of the Arctic zone, the Ministry of Education and Science proposes to consider the possibility of concluding agreements on targeted training with senior students. “This guarantees a young graduate employment in the leading companies in the region, and the employer will be confident in the availability of qualified workers who will carry out professional activities at the enterprises,” Valery Falkov explained.

“It is necessary that the profile of education coincides with the needs of the Arctic region. On the territory of the Russian Arctic, there is a preferential shell created on behalf of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Thanks to business support measures, new investment projects appear every week. It is fundamentally important that graduates of Arctic universities do not move to other regions, but are in demand for their specialization in the Arctic regions, ”Yuri Trutnev emphasized.

VEB.RF Group plans to provide financing for the construction of a modern pulp and paper mill. VEB.RF Group and Segezha West JSC (part of Segezha Group, AFK Sistema) signed an agreement on joint implementation of a project to build a new pulp and paper mill in the Republic of Karelia within the framework of SPIEF-2021. Earlier, JSC Segezha West signed a trilateral agreement with the Ministry of Economic Development and the Republic of Karelia on the protection and encouragement of investment, and also received the status of a resident of the Arctic zone.

According to the deputy chairman of VEB.RF – member of the board Artyom Dovlatov, the project will ensure deep processing of pulpwood harvested in Karelia, growth of non-raw materials exports of products with high added value. A modern biotechnological complex with the highest possible processing of wood raw materials will be created.

“The project was considered as a priority for financing through VEB.RF. Pulp and paper mills have not been built for forty years. The project needs to be finalized, but on the whole, the state commission supported it, ”said Yuri Trutnev.

Following the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister gave a number of instructions. The Ministry of Education and Science, together with the leadership of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug and the Murmansk Region, was instructed to finalize the project for the creation of the Snezhinka international Arctic station, sign an agreement on design and survey work in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, and draw up a roadmap for the implementation of the Snezhinka IAS project in the Murmansk Region …

The Ministry of Transport, together with the Ministry of Finance, was instructed to determine the source of financing for the project for the construction of the Obskaya – Bovanenkovo ​​- Sabetta railway corridor.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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