The Northern Sea Route has a huge importance for the Russian Arctic. However, the regions successful development will be impossible without creating a modern infrastructure and core development zones which are in the process of being formed by the Government of Russia.
The main topics discussed were the current state of the Northern Sea Route and its development prospects, including the problems and capabilities of the domestic ship-building industry. Updating and expanding the infrastructure of the Arctic Transport System is defined as a strategic priority of the state policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic.
The Northern Sea Route is a key element of the Arctic transportation system. However, to solve its strategic tasks in the region, the State needs to form a single Arctic Transport System which would include both the Northern Sea Route and a complex of transportation facilities of sea, river, air, road, railroad, and pipeline transport, as well as onshore facilities.
The main constraining factors for creating new Arctic transport routes and updating the existing ones are the low rates of development of onshore infrastructure along the tracks of the Northern Sea Route and the underdevelopment (and often a total lack) of railroad infrastructure.
Creating core development zones should help overcome these obstacles. According to the new version of the state program Socioeconomic Development of the Russian Arctic Zone, core development zones are integrated projects for socioeconomic development based on simultaneous use of regional and sectoral development tools and mechanisms for implementing investment projects including those based on public private partnership and municipal private partnership.