Russia | IndiaRepresentatives of the Organizing Committee for Russia’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council held a meeting in Moscow with the heads of diplomatic missions from countries of Latin America and the Persian Gulf, during which the diplomats were given a presentation about prospects for cooperation in the Arctic and key Russian projects for the region’s development. From the Russian side, the event was attended by representatives of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation, and the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North.Latin America and Persian Gulf Ambassadors Hear Presentation in Moscow about Prospects for Cooperation in Arctic”We are witnessing enhanced global attention to the Arctic region. The climate is warming four times faster here than the global average. Climate change creates conditions for the development of Arctic shipping. New technological solutions, including in the energy sector, as well as the development of transport make it possible to develop hydrocarbon deposits and critical materials that are essential to the global energy transition. The Arctic is becoming a territory of great opportunities for interaction between various states and organizations in the interests of sustainability, environmental cooperation, and the development of scientific cooperation,” said Nikolay Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Arctic Senior Officials.Korchunov invited the countries of Latin America and the Persian Gulf to collaborate as part of the Snezhinka international research station project in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District and also drew their attention to projects being implemented by Rosatom State Corporation to create low-power nuclear power plants.”We see the key priorities in our work as ensuring a high quality of life and well-being of the Arctic population, environmental protection, the protection of the original habitat and traditional way of life of Indigenous peoples living in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, the development of the Arctic zone as a strategic resource base and its sustainable use in order to accelerate Russia’s economic growth, as well as the development of the Northern Sea Route as a global logistics route,” First Deputy Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic Gadzhimagomed Huseynov said at the meeting.Huseynov said comprehensive work on the sustainable development of the Arctic will continue after Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council concludes and will become even more intensive each year. He also pointed out that Russia’s Arctic zone has been proclaimed a territory with preferential conditions for business, which make it possible to utilize customs benefits within the free customs zone, mechanisms to subsidize the construction of infrastructure for investment projects, as well as other tax benefits and non-tax preferences.Far East and Arctic Development Corporation Director General Nikolay Zapryagayev said that over 630 investment projects are currently being implemented in the Arctic as part of the system of preferences and that total investments under these agreements amount to RUB 1.6 trillion. The bulk of the projects involve such industries as the service sector, construction, mining, logistics, and tourism. Projects in the mining industry have attracted the largest amount of investment, with 42 projects worth almost RUB 800 billion. The second most investments have been in the oil and gas chemical industry (RUB 207 billion), followed by logistics with investments of RUB 120 billion. In addition, Zapryagayev noted major projects in the mineral resource sector, including the development of the Peschanka copper deposit, the Baimsky Mining and Processing Plant in Chukotka, and the construction of a methanol plant in the Nenets Autonomous District.”The Arctic plays an enormous role in the development of both the Russian and global economies. Based on instructions from Russian President Vladimir Putin, unique programmes to support investment projects are being implemented in the region. Russia is open to joint work on these projects with all interested partners as part of current and future projects in the Arctic,” Zapryagayev said.During the meeting, Special Representative for Arctic Affairs of the Rosatom State Corporation Vladimir Panov presented plans for the development of the Northern Sea Route and the Russian icebreaker fleet.”The current grouping of the icebreaker fleet that is working today in the waters of the Northern Sea Route consists of seven nuclear-powered icebreakers and three non-nuclear ones. Construction is continuing on the two Yakutia and Chukotka nuclear icebreakers of Project 22220. On 2 February, Atomflot and Baltic Shipyard signed a contract for the construction of the fifth and sixth series of the universal nuclear icebreakers of Project 22220. In the period from 2026 to 2030, the group will consist of nine nuclear and five non-nuclear icebreakers. To ensure year-round navigation in the eastern sector of the Northern Sea Route, five nuclear-powered icebreakers are expected to be deployed at a distance of no more than 500 nautical miles from each other. In the period from 2031 to 2035, the group will consist of 13 nuclear and five non-nuclear icebreakers. In addition, nine nuclear-powered icebreakers will be located at a distance of no more than 250 miles from each other,” Panov said.Russia is chairing the Arctic Council in 2021-2023. The comprehensive programme of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council aims to promote cooperation to improve the well-being and quality of life of the Arctic population, including the Indigenous peoples of the North, adapt the Arctic to the effects of climate change, conserve the biodiversity and unique ecosystems of the Arctic, ensure socioeconomic development, find solutions in matters concerning global energy and transport security, promote scientific cooperation in high latitudes, and strengthen international cooperation. The chairmanship events are being managed by the Roscongress Foundation.