Thursday, 27 December 2018 14:40

Russia will have a new Ministry for Arctic Affairs in 2019?

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In the corridors of power, the idea of creating a Ministry dealing with the Affairs of the Russian Arctic zone is being intensively discussed. There is already a presidential consent and the main lobbyist. Not enough understanding of the work.
According to experts, the idea of creating a special Ministry for Arctic Affairs is now actively lobbied within the Security Council of the Russian Federation. The main locomotive in this direction is the former Minister of regional development Sergey Vakhrukov, who currently holds the position of Deputy Secretary of the Russian security Council.

About necessity of creation of the public authority for development of the Arctic and the Northern sea route (NSR) Sergey Vakhrukov stated at the beginning of December at the site of the VIII international forum "the Arctic: present and future". Vakhrushev said that the development of the Arctic successfully engaged in the Ministry of transport and the state Corporation “Rosatom” does not work. The Corporation should become an infrastructure operator of the NSR. The ability to solve a number of special problems of the state Corporation “Rosatom” security Council officials questioned, defending his idea of creating a separate state body. "There should be a clear scheme of implementation of state policy... So we are for the relevant body to appear, and we expect that in the near future such a decision in one form or another will be taken by the government," quotes an official from the security Council IA Red Spring. Sergey Vakhrushev also said that this idea is being discussed until the end of December.

At the beginning of the year, on February 15, at the parliamentary hearings on the development of the Russian North, the Arctic and the Far East, Deputy Chairman of the state Duma Olga Epifanova also proposed to create a special Executive body, which will be responsible for the development of the Arctic zone. The new authority, in her opinion, should determine the state policy in this area and participate in the preparation of legislative changes relating to the development of the strategic for the country of the region, the words of the parliamentarian “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”. According to Epifanova, such practice on the example of the Far East has justified itself.

Back in 2014, at a meeting of the security Council on state policy in the Arctic, President Vladimir Putin spoke about the creation of a "single center of responsibility for the implementation of the Arctic policy." The Russian leader said four years ago that this should be an operational structure that will help coordinate the activities of ministries and departments, regions and business. Putin also said at the time that it would be advisable to create a body similar in status to the state Commission with broad powers, as it was done for the Far East.

Recently, however, Russian policy in the Arctic has become more like spontaneous mismatched actions than strategic policy. The format proposed by the President did not justify itself:

In March 2015, the government established the state Commission on Arctic development, which was headed by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin at that time. For three years, almost nothing has been done in the Arctic direction. After the election of the President and the departure of some officials from the government, including Rogozin, about the Russian Arctic in the government generally forgotten. The former state Commission was dissolved. Even the website closed.

In early October 2018, the Russian government remembered about the Arctic zone, announced the creation of a new state Commission of Russia on the Arctic, which was entrusted to be headed by Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev. The same politician controls the development of the Far East, and how it will be enough for the Northern direction is a big question.

In Russia, there are two territorial ministries. The first-the Russian Ministry for the development of the Far East — was established by presidential decree in 2012. Now it is headed by the third Minister Alexander Kozlov, whom President Vladimir Putin appointed to lead the Ministry in may 2018, 10 days after his re-election. Second, the Ministry of the Russian Federation for the North Caucasus (Minkowksi Russia) — was established in 2014.

The Arctic is a strategically important and complex region, with several countries fighting for control. The Russian Navy will have to deal with increased competition for control over Maritime communications between China, on the one hand, and the United States, Japan and South Korea, on the other.


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