The unique mineral resources and transit potential of the Northern Sea Route were characterized as a driver of the region’s economic development. Russia has already prepared 145 Arctic development projects, worth 4.8 trillion rubles, including almost 4 trillion from the private sector.
“If we want to remain on the list of leading countries, we must develop the Arctic just as all others. This territory, cold and seemingly not particularly attractive in terms of investment, is the main capital destination this century,” Dmitry Zhuravlyov, general director of the Institute of Regional Problems, said. “The Arctic is something that the global economy today cannot do without.”
His view was echoed by Mikhail Delyagin, director of the Institute for Globalization Problems.
“On the whole, the development of the Arctic shelf and the Arctic in general will be a means to stimulate development of the entire country,” he said.
According to Rustam Tankayev, a leading expert at the Russian Union of Oil and Gas Industrialists, Russia’s Arctic program is entering an active phase.
“The program to build Rosneft’s Zvezda shipyard cluster alone is worth 145 billion rubles. Building three nuclear-powered ice breakers – Arctic, Siberia and Ural – is another 87 billion,” he said, adding that the Russian government has issued licenses for the exploration and development of deposits in an area of 2 million square kilometers, i.e., almost two-thirds of the Arctic territory.
“Rosneft received most of the licenses and it is the most active in the region. Rosneft’s program is extremely wide-ranging. The company participated in drawing up this program and this is something to be proud of. The program includes building infrastructure, creating research and production clusters and fostering new technologies to develop the North,” Tankayev said.