Scientists estimate that up to 20% of oil reserves and more than half of gas reserves, deposits of rare metals, gold, coal and other minerals are concentrated in the Russian Arctic.
The Northern Sea Route, which is the only highway linking subarctic and arctic regions of Russia, plays an important role in development of Arctic in general and its mineral deposits. That highway has a number of indisputable advantages over other transport routes from east to west and from west to east. If the route is laid across the Northern Sea Route, the distance between the ports may be two times shorter.
It should be noted that Russian studies and work in the Arctic region and the Northern Sea Route are slightly ahead of the situation in other Arctic States, but to but to preserve the advantages, serious steps are needed to optimize solutions to the tasks set by the government of the country. For this, back in 2010 the Russian Federation Arctic zone development and national security plan (including the future of the northern sea route) was made. The plan provides for the main risks and threats, development priorities, mechanisms and stages of realization of tasks like:
military security, state borders` defense;
cooperation with other Arctic states;
development of transport communication and aviation, construction of roads;
preservation of indigenous peoples` life way and their places of traditional residence;
development of mineral resources of the region;
development of communication and satellite systems;
development of tourism.
In March, 2019, under the instruction of the Russian Federation another development plan for the Arctic region was made. 118 projects aimed at the development and processing of the mineral resource base of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and related infrastructure support went into a comprehensive plan.
It is worth to note the growing interest of government, business, science and society to the Arctic region. Moreover, the Russian Federation government provides comprehensive support to business projects in the region. Thus, today we can see the real steps aimed at implementing the program for the development of the Arctic region. In particular, it concerns the recovery of polar stations, the resumption of the construction of ports, the restoration of airfields, the construction of new icebreakers, the creation of nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries, the development of tourist routes.
At the same time, it should be noted that the development of the region is taking into account the requirements of the law on the protection of biological resources, a unique ecosystem, a unique marine and land world of animals and plants. The Arctic provides shelter to a variety of rare and endemic animals, including many inhabitants of the deep sea, as well as plants and insects.