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National Projects in the Russian Arctic: Implementation Mechanisms
9 April 2019
12:00—13:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
National projects as an essential tool to increase quality of life in the Arctic

National projects are an important instrument to fix social disproportions, to improve quality of life — Roman Kopin, Governor of Chukotka Autonomous Area.

The Northern Sea Route is being launched and developed; industrial production is rapidly growing. <…> We have a task to make people’s lives comfortable <…> to help young people stay in the Region. <…> In this regard, the issue of comfortable urban environment is highly important for us — Andrey Chibis, Acting Governor of Murmansk Region.

Emerging industrial projects <…> form the basis that will facilitate considerable improvement of living conditions in the Arctic — Aysen Nikolaev, Head of Sakha Republic (Yakutia).

Business interested in developing social sphere of Arctic regions

About 170 km of the pipeline is above the Arctic Circle. <…> Optical fibre cable is always laid along the pipeline – it’s communication, it’s the internet, it’s digitalization <…> For the past 5 years we have transferred 22 billion roubles to the budget of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region, 17 billion of which is development of social and infrastructure projects — Mikhail Margelov, Vice President, Transneft.

ISSUES
Underdeveloped social sphere and infrastructure in Arctic regions

Life expectancy in all regions, except Yamal, is lower than the average in the country. It’s 66.1 years in Chukotka, while the (President’s — ed.) decree dictates that we reach up to 78 years. High mortality among the able-bodied population is significantly higher than the average in Russia: in Chukotka – 1.7 times higher, Republic of Karelia – 1.3 times, the Republic of Komi and Archangelsk Region – 1.2 times. High percentage of dilapidated housing: in Yakutia it’s 7 times higher than average in the country, in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region – 5 times, in Archangelsk – 3–4 times. <…> Social development indicators in the Arctic Region must be no lower than the average in Russia — Alexander Kozlov, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic.

The most important thing is airports. <…> Today we are facing colossal problems of the in-region flight costs being very high — Aysen Nikolaev, Head of Sakha Republic (Yakutia).

Implementation of national projects in Arctic conditions requires increased funding

As for Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund’s ratios <…> average ratios used today do not provide payments or reimbursements for healthcare costs, especially expenses for care providers in remote areas — Andrey Chibis, Acting Governor of Murmansk Region.

Climatic conditions are more severe, construction times are much shorter, more expenses are required. <…> We are going to be more insistent about adjusting and increasing funds for supporting national projects <…> in arctic conditions — Andrey Chibis, Acting Governor of Murmansk Region.

Severe environmental conditions and complicated logistics leading to high construction costs result in high percentage of dilapidated housing, there’s shortage of new housing — Maxim Filimonov, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chief Editor, TASS Russia.

High costs of roads, housing, and other infrastructure objects which are not compatible with equivalent indicators in central regions — Roman Kopin, Governor of Chukotka Autonomous Area.

High load on business in Arctic

The legislation imposes a range of additional social liabilities on entrepreneurs who work in the Arctic. These expenditures make our business uncompetitive, when the competition is for the contract in a foreign area — Andrey Chibis, Acting Governor of Murmansk Region.

Outflow of population from Arctic regions

Today, 214 thousand people are ready to leave the north. <…> In order to make the newcomers stay <…> we should work out the solutions that would enable them to work and feel comfortable — Nikolay Kharitonov, Chairman of the Committee for Regional Policy and Issues of the North and Far East, State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

The housing pool in some towns is quite decent, but the people have moved out. <…> A few hundred people have left Murmansk Region in the past 30 years — Andrey Chibis, Acting Governor of Murmansk Region.

SOLUTIONS
Development of programmes addressing specifics of Arctic

In the perspective of improvement, we should think that the environment that we are creating would be multi-functional, that the population could use it during very long winters and very short summers. <…> A lot of attention is paid to lighting. <…> We need energy-efficient buildings that are more expensive because of permafrost — Vladimir Yakushev, Minister of Construction, Housing, and Utilities of the Russian Federation.

We should figure out the indicators and events that are addressed in national projects, to see if they are up to the life we want. If not, they must urgently be increased. <…> To add a gym to a school if there is none — Alexander Kozlov, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic.

Creating new jobs

We must create new jobs, provide optional incentives which are way more in demand in the Arctic — Alexander Kozlov, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic.

Development of transport infrastructure

We should discuss a complex of measures for developing air transport: renewal of aircraft fleet, simplification of procedures for equipping airports, increased use of ambulance aircrafts — Roman Kopin, Governor of Chukotka Autonomous Area.

Reconstruction of White Sea–Baltic Canal and creation of specialized cargo fleet are required. <…> I think that it might significantly enhance the interest in the Northern Sea Route — Artur Parfenchikov, Head of the Republic of Karelia.

Reduced tax burden

I have recently made a decision to exempt the population of the Arctic from the republican taxes, those are land value tax, vehicle tax, personal property tax <…> the budget of Sakha Republic (Yakutia) will take on <…> all the costs — Aysen Nikolaev, Head of Sakha Republic (Yakutia).

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS