Russia's Arctic Exploration To Require Up To $708Mln In Off-Budget Investments - Minister

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Russia's Arctic Exploration to Require Up to $708Mln in Off-Budget Investments - Minister

The Russian Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has developed a geological prospecting program in the Arctic to create a cargo base for the Northern Sea Route with estimated annual off-budget investments of between 37.5 billion rubles and 47 billion rubles ($565 million-$708 million), Environment Minister Dmitry Kobylkin said Thursday

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th August, 2019) The Russian Natural Resources and Environment Ministry has developed a geological prospecting program in the Arctic to create a cargo base for the Northern Sea Route with estimated annual off-budget investments of between 37.5 billion rubles and 47 billion rubles ($565 million-$708 million), Environment Minister Dmitry Kobylkin said Thursday.

The initiative comes after Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far East Yury Trutnev said in July that the study of geological subsoil in the Arctic should be intensified because the level of exploration activity in the region was "extremely low.

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"The Arctic program's annual funding is 3.7 [billion rubles]-4.1 billion rubles from the budget. It is 10 times more at the expense of subsoil users, which is 37.5 [billion rubles]-47 billion rubles per year. This is not only about liquid, but also about solid minerals," Kobylkin told the Russian Vedomosti newspaper.

The project's contractors are state companies Rosnedra and Rosgeologia, as well as subsoil users.

The Northern Sea Route is Russia's main Arctic shipping path and the shortest maritime passage between the Far East and European part of the country.

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