(David Pugliese/Postmedia News, 27 December 2011) -- The Royal Canadian Air Force has looked at a major expansion at Resolute Bay, Nunavut, as it considers transforming it into a key base for Arctic operations, according to documents obtained by Postmedia. The construction of a 3,000-metre paved runway, hangars, fuel installations and other infrastructure has been proposed as part of an effort to support government and military operations in the North. Resolute Bay in Nunavut would be able to provide a logistics site for search-and-rescue operations as well as a base for strategic refuelling aircraft, according to the briefing from the Arctic Management Office at 1 Canadian Air Division, the air force's Winnipeg-based command and control division. The briefing was presented in June 2010 and recently released by the Defence Department under the Access to Information law. The long paved runway would allow fighter aircraft to operate from the site, with the suggestion in the presentation that could include NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) jets. Resolute Bay now has a 1,981-metre gravel runway, according to information provided for pilots by the federal government. Resolute Bay should be considered for expansion to become a main operating base because it is "the geostrategic centre to the Arctic and (Northwest) Passage" and is an "existing regional supply hub with a permanent population/sea access," according to the briefing. It would be seen as a "key Arctic regional development and sovereignty centrepiece."
Posted 31 December 2011; 2:09:08 PM. Permalink
(Michael Byers/Toronto Star, 28 December 2011) -- NOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA - Arctic. There is no likelihood of Arctic states going to war.” The Russian foreign ministry’s representative in Siberia smiles as he quotes the Canadian Prime Minister, as reported in a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. Although Stephen Harper never expected that his conversation with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen would be made public, the analysis was entirely correct. Here in Novosibirsk (pop. 1.5 million), people are more interested in trade and investment opportunities than geopolitical conspiracies. ... Siberia is larger than Canada and its resource industry more developed, in part a legacy of the Stalinist era drive for self-sufficiency. Fully 20 per cent of Russia’s GDP comes from this vast, sparsely populated territory. ... Russia also has massive deposits of oil and gas, both onshore and offshore. Earlier this year, Russia and Norway settled the Arctic’s largest sovereignty dispute — by dividing a contested portion of the Barents Sea exactly in half. ... Unlocking Russia’s Arctic treasure chest will require new transportation routes. Some Siberian officials envisage a railway to the Bering Strait and beyond through a tunnel to North America. It’s easy to dismiss the plan as unrealistic, until you remember that the Trans-Siberian Railway connecting Europe to China and the Pacific was once also only a dream. ... Russia is intent on turning the Northern Sea Route into a commercially viable alternative to the Strait of Malacca and the Suez Canal. There is just one fly in the ointment: the United States, which opposes Russia’s claim that key parts of the Northern Sea Route constitute Russian internal waters. Significantly, the Russian legal position is identical to that taken by Canada with respect to the Northwest Passage, where the only country that opposes Canada’s internal waters claim is, once again, the United States. During a conference in Novosibirsk, I explain that the Soviet Union had expressed support for Canada’s legal position when the U.S. sent an icebreaker through the Northwest Passage in 1985. A Russian professor asks the logical question: “Did Canada ever support the Soviet Union’s Northern Sea Route claim?” I reply that, although mutual recognition would have strengthened both countries’ legal positions, Canada could never have supported the Soviets in a Cold War dispute with the United States. The professor looks at me quizzically: “But the Cold War is over, nyet? Russia, after all, is about to join the WTO.”
Posted 31 December 2011; 1:43:41 PM. Permalink
(IA Regnum News, 31 December 2011) -- As of 31 December 2011, more than 48.5 thousand residents of the Yamal, more than half of them senior citizens, have expressed their desire to travel outside the autonomous regions, according to the press service of the governor of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District. The rehousing program has been funded in part by the federal targeted program "Housing" and by the regional target program "Cooperation." However, the funds are clearly insufficient. The numbers of people wanting to move from the Far North is much greater. Therefore, beginning in 2012 funds will be sent to the county annually. Currently, work is underway in the Tuymen district on 14 blocks of flats to house more than 2.5 thousand "yamaltsev," who have decided to leave the Far North.
Posted 31 December 2011; 1:17:06 PM. Permalink
(IA Regnum, 31 December 2011) -- Duma of Khanty-Mansiysk approved "Strategy of socio-economic development of the Khanty-Mansiysk 2020." The strategy's 329 pages containing 9 main analytical chapters and 7 annexes, according to the press service of the Administration of Khanty-Mansiysk. Sections of the strategy include an assessment of the existing state of the city's economy, demographics, workforce, quality of life of the population of the Khanty-Mansiysk, financial and public sector, the market of consumer services, the city's infrastructure, manufacturing, state of the environment, public safety and give a forecast for each aspect. The strategy provides a comparative analysis of competitive advantages and disadvantages of the municipality in relation to other areas of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Yugra, describes problems, and gives an assessment of existing capacity and competitiveness of the economy of the city. It also contains a section that provides an assessment of current measures of municipal authorities to improve the socio-economic status of the population of the city, as well as evaluation of the implementation on the territory of the federal, regional, municipal and industrial programs of social and economic development. The strategy contains a number of scenarios (options) for development: Inertia, Innovation, and Intermediate (moderately optimistic). The document also reflects the long-term priorities and goals for their implementation in the chosen scenario. The final section devoted to a detailed description of the mechanisms for implementing the strategy. The development strategy of the Khanty-Mansiysk is linked to a number of strategic policy documents of the regional and federal level: the concept of long-term socio-economic development of the Russian Federation to 2020, the concept of socio-economic development of regions of the Russian Federation, as well as of socio-economic development of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region in 2020 and plan for development and distribution of productive forces Ugra for 2006-2015. and 2020. The main instruments for implementing the strategy at the municipal level will be operating in the program of socio-economic development of the Khanty-Mansiysk. Note the capital of Yugra in the city today there are 34 programs.
Posted 31 December 2011; 1:01:39 PM. Permalink