1. Russia is the head of the Arctic Council
From 2021 to 2023, Russia will take over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council, a key international organization that unites the polar countries.
2. Arctic benefits for residents
At the end of 2021, thanks to the regime of a special economic zone in the Russian Arctic, 288 residents were registered, who announced projects worth 318 billion rubles.
3. Norilsk Renovation
The government has approved a comprehensive plan for the socio-economic development of Norilsk, the second largest Arctic city in the world, until 2035.
Initially, it was assumed that all the activities implementation would require 120 billion rubles, 81 billion of which was to be provided by private business. The Nornickel decided to support the project by adding another 150 billion rubles to this amount.
4. Permafrost monitoring
In Russia, on the basis of the Roshydromet observational network, a nationwide permafrost monitoring system is being created. Constant monitoring will allow the permafrost soils real-time state observing, predictive models building and decisions making.
5. Pevek challenge
The Northern Sea Route (NSR), the country’s key transpolar artery, passed the stress test after facing a major emergency.
Due to early cooling in the NSR waters, 24 ships got stuck in the ice. For their release, Rosatom created an operational headquarters, and the situation was successfully overcome within a few weeks.
The experience will be taken into account in further planning of activities on the Northern Sea Route. This is of particular relevance as the freight and transit traffic on the NSR grows.
6. Shipbuilding for the Arctic
The Arctic development requires the shipping development. Work to build up the icebreaking potential continued in 2021. In December, the nuclear-powered icebreaker Sibir was commissioned, and its predecessor, the Arctica nuclear-powered icebreaker, was successfully repaired, returning it to its nominal capacity.
7. General cleaning in the Arctic
In 2021, the Clean Arctic public and civil initiative was launched, bringing together the efforts of nature conservation, the caring public, science and regional authorities.
8. FPIC is a new corporate practice term
Last year, for the first time in Russia, the FPIC procedure – free, prior and informed consent – was applied for the indigenous peoples of the North. In the Russian Arctic conditions, it is being carried out by the Nornickel company with the assistance of PORA to resettle the village of Tuhard on the Taimyr peninsula.
9. Industrial megaprojects
In the Arctic, the new major initiatives launch continues, promising significant tax revenues to the budget and the creation of thousands of new jobs.
10. Arctic ambitions of the EU and the polar climate
The new Arctic strategy, presented by the EU, has fixed a course to ban mining beyond the Arctic Circle. Not accepting the EU’s right to interfere in the Arctic countries’ affairs, Russia began working on the carbon quotas introduction and a national credit system. This will not only improve the Far North ecology, but also find new points of contact with the EU, while retaining the European market for raw materials and energy.
Text: Anzhelika Stepanova, Photos: Denis Kozhevnikov, Nikolay Shchipko, cleanarctic.ru