New Delhi, June 2022.

Participants in the ‘International Cooperation for Sustainable Development in the Arctic’ included Satish Soni (India), former Commandant of the National Defence Academy (NDA) and Commander-in-Chief of Southern Command and Eastern Command, Zhou Liqun (China), President, Union of Chinese Entrepreneurs in Russia and Glenn Diesen, Professor, University of South-Eastern Norway.

The Indian side was very keen to bring home the point that the Arctic region is extremely important as a civilizational connect. It is also important because the climate change in the Arctic will affect themonsoons and food security. The key point is cooperation in scientific field whether it could be possible for some doing joint research in scientific areas, as methane capture, carbon capture, reducing emissions, these are challenges which must be faced together.

Satish Soni said, “We are all delighted to be participating in the international cooperation for sustainable development of the Arctic, which has been discussed under the aegis of the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. It is important that it is understood that India is willing, India is able to contribute, has the capability and is serious.India has great potential to contribute to the scientific research, building of infrastructure, provision of manpower and host of other activities. India recently released the Arctic policy, only a few months back and it is not only a policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but also a whole government approach in which everyone in India has committed to participation in the Arctic.”

Participants in a Creative Business Forum session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum discussed best practices in implementing and scaling creative industry projects in the Arctic and northern territories. The session ‘Made in the Arctic: Grants as a Driver of the Creative Economy in the North’ was part of the ‘Creative Industries of the North’ programme and the schedule of events of Russia’s chairmanship in the Arctic Council in 2021–2023, which are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation.

Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives CEO Roman Karmanov said that his organization has supported around 3,000 creative teams from 85 regions of Russia over the past year. An additional 8,000 jobs have appeared in Russia thanks to the creation of the Fund. The organization has received over 75,000 applications for a total of RUB 127.832 billion, of which the applicants themselves are ready to invest RUB 42 billion.

“We have a serious shortage of creative professions in various fields. We don’t have enough writers, composers, musicians, and many others who generate content. Money is being invested, the situation is already changing, and we are seeing this,” Karmanov said.

Support for projects in the Arkhangelsk Region has resulted in the scaling of the Arctic Open International Festival, which unites the entire range of Arctic cinema, Minister of Culture of the Arkhangelsk Region Oksana Svetlova said. In addition, the animation industry is developing in the region: the Arkhangelsk Region authorities are planning to launch educational projects jointly with Russian animation studio Soyuzmultfilm.

Participants in the session ‘The Creative Economy: A New Vector in the Development of the North’ at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum discussed the influence of creative industries on the socioeconomic development of the North as well as the conditions and infrastructure that are needed for incremental changes in creative professions in the northern territories. The event was part of the ‘Creative Industries of the North’ programme and the schedule of events of Russia’s chairmanship in the Arctic Council in 2021–2023, which are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation

“The Russian Federation is currently chairing the Arctic Council. As part of this work, our country is paying attention to the human dimension, the inhabitants of the Arctic, and indigenous peoples, among other priorities. The problems associated with the socioeconomic block can be resolved to a large extent, in part through the development of creative industries,” said Nikolay Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Arctic Senior Officials.

The creative economy could become a foundation for the economic growth of communities of indigenous peoples of the Arctic, said Mikhail Pogodaev, Deputy Minister for Arctic Development and Northern Affairs of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and Special Representative of Russia’s Chairmanship in the Arctic Council on Indigenous Peoples Issues and Regional Cooperation.

Russia will continue to chair the Arctic Council in 2021–2023 and one of the cross-cutting themes of its chairmanship is to provide responsible governance for the sustainable development of the Arctic. Priorities include improving the quality of human capital with special attention paid to work to improve the well-being and living standards of the Arctic population, including indigenous peoples, the creation of a modern urban environment, the provision of quality education, improvements to the healthcare system, and the preservation of the cultural and linguistic traditions of the Arctic inhabitants.