Sustainable Development of the Russian Arctic Zone: Challenges & Opportunities

By Daryana Maximova, Assistant Professor, Department of International Studies, Institute of Foreign Languages and Regional Studies, North-Eastern Federal University, Yakutsk, Russia; and Researcher, Department of Canada, Institute for US and Canadian Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

This paper attempts to consider a fundamental problem of ensuring sustainable development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation in the context of expanding economic activity. In August 2017, the new edition of the Russian state program on the Arctic’s socio-economic development was released. At present, this is the main document regarding the development of the Arctic territories of Russia. The main idea of this document and the future law “On the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation” is to create support zones, which will be complex projects of social and economic development of the Arctic territories where the Northern Sea Route will become the main navigable artery and the central project. According to the state program, one of the main tasks of the support zones is the use of best practices for creating favorable living conditions for the residents. This paper will examine the Russian Arctic’s challenges and opportunities regarding sustainable development, including an analysis of the recent Russian plans in relation to the territorial development.

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