Arctic Russia

Economic development in Arctic Russia is the story of the establishment of the largest Arctic city Murmansk in the Kola peninsula, on the exploitation of minerals, oil, and gas for state purposes, with little focus on pollution and the living conditions for the around 30 small indigenous peoples, and of big prestigious projects such as the Northern Sea Route. It is a story of the functioning of a command economy in 40 years and of the collapse of the system and a transition to market economy without having laws and institutions in place. Murmansk had and still has enormous strategic importance. It is the center of the Russian fleet, the knowledge center for Arctic exploitation, the center for the fisheries and for mineral exploitation, and it has more than 300,000 inhabitants. The situation in the rest of the Russian Arctic is more chaotic. The number of inhabitants has decreased, the average lifetime has fallen drastically, and economic development is poor.

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