Contributions to the Arctic review (official publication of the International Expert Council on Cooperation in the Arctic) annual issue was conveyed to 10th June 2020. 

The main topic of this year – “Science, education and training: towards Arctic projects implementation”.

Researchers from Murmansk Arctic state University will analyze the risks of dangerous natural and man-made phenomena that affect the coastal zones of the Russian Arctic.

"Russia annually loses about 11 square km of area due to the fact that the Arctic coast is eroded due to natural phenomena. To this, we need to add the risks of increasing anthropogenic load: increased ship traffic, construction of enterprises, growth of port capacity, and so on," the publication quotes the project Manager, a leading researcher at the Information and analytical center of the Murmansk Arctic state University, Georgy Gogoberidze. According to him, even a small release at the enterprise and a minor accident of a vessel with a fuel leak can lead to huge consequences - much more critical than in the southern regions due to the high vulnerability of the Arctic ecosystem.

The article explains that the results of the project can be applied to the economic development of sea coasts in the Arctic. "The risks in the construction and operation of infrastructure structures, and human life in General, on the Arctic coasts are enormous and incomparable to those that exist in the coastal zones of warmer seas," the publication notes.

The research was supported by a three-year grant from the Russian Foundation for basic research. Specialists from Saint Petersburg state University will participate in the the future , the number of scientific organizations will increase.

One of the developers of the new Arctic strategy of Russia, Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation for the development of the Far East and the Arctic Alexander Krutikov said in an interview that changes in the sphere of legislative regulation are required to launch projects in the field of cruise tourism in the Arctic. The decisions taken for the development of cruise tourism are clearly not enough. He considers administrative as the main deterrent.
"It is necessary to remove barriers, first of all, when obtaining permission for vessels to enter certain points of the Arctic zone, change the rules for approving the list of tourists when visiting border zones and zones with a regulated stay of foreigners, as well as change the rules for repeated border crossings by sea vessels. The volume of required changes is quite large, " the source said.
"In 2020, we aim to make and implement all the necessary decisions on the issue of cruise tourism," Krutikov said.
As previously reported, Vodohod intends to organize cruises along the Northern sea route in 2021.

The area of the ozone hole, which is observed by the European sentinel-5P satellite, launched into orbit by the Russian Rokot carrier rocket from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in 2017, is about 1 million square kilometers.
Scientists from DLR attribute its appearance to unusual atmospheric conditions, including freezing temperatures in the stratosphere, which led to a sharp drop in ozone levels.
Ozone in the stratosphere protects life on Earth from the ultraviolet rays of sunlight. Over Antarctica, the ozone hole is formed annually in the fall and lasts 3-4 months. However, this phenomenon is now much larger than previously observed.

At a plenary session, the State Duma adopted a bill amending the law On the Export of Gas in the first reading. These amendments are expected to give an additional boost to the hydrocarbon extraction on the shelf, production of the liquefied natural gas (LNG), the development of gas chemistry and the exploration of new oil and gas regions in the Arctic.

According to the bill, a zero tax rate will be used once the accumulated volume of gas extraction reaches 250 billion cubic meters or during 12 years after the first raw materials are sold. The incentive is only viable for new production capacities. These projects will also be able to receive regional incentives. However, regions can set lower income tax rates for regional budgets for them.

The amendments will provide incentives to projects of hydrocarbon extraction on the shelf. The largest incentives will be provided for the development of new offshore fields in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, the southern part of the Barents Sea, the Pechora Sea, the Sea of Japan, and the White Sea, where the oil MET will be five percent and the gas MET will be one percent during the first 15 years of commercial development.

Murmansk universities and the regional education ministry are to develop a new strategy within a month for training professionals for Arctic projects. The new strategy must rule out the need for retraining as much as possible. Governor Andrei Chibis has issued this instruction today following a meeting with the leadership of Murmansk State Technical University and Murmansk Arctic State University (UArctic).

"The university leadership must choose their training spheres so as to be able to train skilled professionals for various industries but primarily for the Arctic. The Murmansk Region Ministry of Education and Science will be instructed to coordinate this work and to provide as much support as possible to the universities' development. Our goal is to give our young people an opportunity to receive quality education in the region, attract students from other regions and turn Murmansk into a real student city. The more young people we have, the higher is our economic activity," Andrei Chibis noted.

The demand for professionals will be analyzed shortly and the work of the region's leading universities will be adjusted to the results. Taking these indicators into account, the Murmansk Region Ministry of Education and Science will work out a mechanism of targeted training and the necessary financing.

Presidential Advisor Anton Kobyakov and Ambassador of Finland to Russia Mikko Hautala discussed an international Arctic agenda in Moscow.

During the meeting they pointed out the prospects of cooperation that are offered by the coming three-year Russian chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021-2023 as well as by the Arctic — Territory of Dialogue 6th International Arctic Forum to be held next March. The parties also agreed that all the initiatives already being implemented by their countries should be continued as part of the Russia-Finland dialogue.

"We have been vigorously preparing for the June 2020 International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg and we would like to keep our arrangements for 2021 regarding the development of Russia-Finland dialogue. Topics such as intense and sustainable forest management and bio economics are very pressing for us and I want to underscore the tangible progress made by a number of Russian regions in reducing soot emissions by using gas. We are ready to share our experience in these issues on a permanent basis. During the Russian business mission's travel to Finland, the heads of 13 Russian regions visited our country and the agreements reached have their follow-ups for the development of our business contacts, say in the Komi Republic," said Mikko Hautala.

The state Duma of the Russian Federation adopted a related draft law on tax incentives for mining tax for investors in the Arctic on March 5.
According to the documents, any entrepreneur registered in the Arctic who is ready to implement a new investment project and invest at least 10 million rubles will be able to obtain resident status, which implies a number of tax benefits and non-tax preferences. The investment project is deemed new if on the date of the application, the volume of capital investments made during the project implementation does not exceed 25% of the total capital investment envisaged by the business plan of this project.
It is envisaged that the Arctic zone is managed by the state Commission for Arctic development, whose composition is determined by the government of the Russian Federation, as well as by an authorized Federal body (the Ministry of Eastern development of the Russian Federation ) and a management company (joint-Stock Company "Corporation for the development of the Far East"). The state Commission monitors economic processes in the Arctic zone, considers and takes measures to develop the Russian Federation's regions and municipalities in the Arctic zone and improve the investment and business climate in these territories.
The criteria for selecting residents of the Arctic zone are set, one of which will be the amount of capital investment, as well as a list of costs that will be taken into account when determining it - in particular, the costs of new construction, technical re-equipment, modernization of fixed assets, reconstruction of buildings, purchase of machinery and equipment will be taken into account. Established special terms for the provision of municipal services in urban planning, as well as special terms for individual administrative procedures in the provision of municipal services in urban planning: for the issuance of an development plan of land plot located in the Arctic zone, set a target date of 10 working days.

The President of the Russian Federation signed a decree on the basics of state policy in the Arctic zone until 2035. They determine Russia's national priorities in this region. These include ensuring the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, preserving the Arctic as a world territory, ensuring a high quality of life and well-being of the Arctic population, and developing its resource base. The development of the Northern sea route as a competitive national transport artery on the world market, environmental protection and protection of the traditional way of life of indigenous peoples are separately spelled out in the framework.
"The state policy framework provides for the development of a unified statistical and information-analytical system for monitoring and managing the socio-economic development of the Russian Arctic zone," said Alexey Chekunkov, head of the Far East and Arctic development Fund. - The Foundation is starting to implement this project. This will be a dynamic mathematical model that takes into account Arctic resources, logistics, economic and environmental factors and allows you to calculate scenarios for the development of the Arctic and the Northern sea route, depending on the speed and scale of economic, social and climate changes. In fact, we will create the first digital counterpart of the North sea route in Russia."

Russian Helicopters holding company and Gazprom are finalizing the design of a new helicopter for operations in the Arctic shelf fields.

"On behalf of Dmitry Rogozin, who was then acting Chairman of the state Commission for the Arctic, a joint working group was created to develop an offshore helicopter, which included employees of PJSC Gazprom. We conducted a full audit of all the enterprises of the Russian Helicopters holding, and we realized that the company has the necessary potential to create the right machine. To date, Russian Helicopters, with the participation of specialists from the working group, is completing the project of the latest modification of the helicopter, which is called the Mi-171A3" Vladimir Dimitrov, Deputy head of Gazprom's Department said at the international Arctic summit "the Arctic and offshore projects: prospects, innovations and development".

According to him, the new helicopter will meet all the necessary safety requirements for offshore (over the sea) flights on the Arctic shelf. The helicopter will be able to transport teams of specialists, cargo, as well as carry out rescue operations over the sea.