Northern Window of Opportunities: What Benefits the Development of the Arctic Zone may bring to Russia

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Northern Window of Opportunities: What Benefits the Development of the Arctic Zone may bring to Russia
Northern Window of Opportunities: What Benefits the Development of the Arctic Zone may bring to Russia
14 April, 15:23Photo: Соцсети
In addition to a significant reduction in the cost of shipping using the Northern Sea Route, the intensification of economic activity in the Arctic will improve the quality of life of Russians living in the Arctic and nearby regions of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East

As you know, on April 13, Putin held a meeting on the development of the Arctic zone, at which he demanded not to postpone the implementation of projects in the Arctic, despite the sanctions, TASS reports. The northern delivery must be carried out smoothly and without failures, the Russian Arctic must be fully provided with goods, the president added. Putin proposed to identify a single operator of the Northern delivery to the Arctic by sea and a coordinating agency for this work as a whole.

Projects to eliminate the accumulated environmental damage in the Arctic must be continued in full, the president said. Russia is open to cooperation with all interested partners in projects in the Arctic, he added.

In addition, Putin made it clear to the participants that the approach to the implementation of large construction projects in the country is changing, and in particular, instructed Russian Railways, Gazprom and everyone involved to begin construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway this year, a rather complex and very expensive project.

If earlier the issue of building the SSH was exclusively economic, today the situation is changing, writes the channel "Economics". The easiest way in this direction is to start building housing, stimulating it with preferential mortgages and programs for relocating citizens from dilapidated and emergency stock. But building up only the housing stock is a dead end. This infrastructure does not generate income.

Therefore, the state needs to build, but build wisely. Build facilities that strengthen the economy - industrial complexes and highways that will bring income.

The first step in implementing such a strategy seems to be the SSH. It is important that the authorities understand that support for the construction industry, infrastructure loans should work for the real economy. The Yamal SSH is the most developed regional project, therefore, in fact, Putin was the first to support its implementation.

This project includes the construction of bridges across the Ob and Nadym, the laying of railway tracks and sections of roads. The cost of construction is estimated at 300 billion rubles. For Russia, the launch of the SSH is of tremendous importance. The road will make it possible to reduce the cost of transporting goods from the Yamal fields, unload the BAM and Trans-Siberian Railway, which are packed to capacity, thereby reorienting oil and gas exports to the east.

For residents of the Arctic regions, as well as the nearby Urals, Siberia, and the Far East, the construction of the SSH means the development of infrastructure, an increase in the quality of life, and new jobs.

Commenting on this event, journalist Pavel Pryanikov writes:

“I hope that the Northern Sea Route will finally be intensified - looking at the cost of sea freight, which has skyrocketed (the cost of sending a container by ship from Shanghai to Rotterdam is $10-12 thousand). And looking at the cost of fuel. Savings on 2-3 thousand kilometers along the NSR will be significant.

For example, it takes an average container ship 25 days and about 600 tons of marine fuel to travel from Northern Europe to China along the NSR. The route through the Suez Canal will take 35 days and about 900 tons of fuel. Saving not only in time, but also in money. On average - $0.7-0.8 million per flight.

“Of course, we are also facing problems, but alternative opportunities, options and new windows of opportunity are opening up for us,” Putin said. The Northern Sea Route is just one of the possibilities.

The second is modern new settlements associated with both the extraction of natural resources and the maintenance of the NSR.

When the development of a gas field near the village of Sabetta began in Yamal in 2002, 19 people lived in it. Now it is a 30,000th settlement with an international airport. Gas extraction and LNG production gave a start to this city in the Arctic. And it is difficult to find any other settlement in Russia, which over the past thirty years has been able to grow from almost nothing to a population of tens of thousands of people.

And the third topical direction is ecological. This, for example, is the cleaning of the Arctic from old iron and other human waste. An example of this problem. In 2012, the Russian Geographical Society, together with the Polar Research Foundation, completely cleared the territory of the Alexander Land island. In the course of work, 47.5 thousand steel barrels with a total weight of 1892 tons were collected, cleaned and pressed on it (by the way, at current prices, this scrap metal would have cost $ 1 million). Utilized 1744 tons of various fuels and lubricants. And in total, 4119 tons of various metal scrap and 4797 tons of other solid waste were collected and removed..."

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