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Summary of Working Paper No. 149-1999

IV.4.1 Impact of the Northern Sea Route and the Activity of the Lena River Steamship Line on the Socio-Economic Situation and Development of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia)

By V.I. Pavlenko, Scientific and Co-ordination Centre for the Arctic Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia; and A.N. Yakovlev, Central Marine Research and Design Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia.

The paper deals with the impact of the traditional transport system on the socio-economic activities in Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and its substainable development.

The Northern Sea Route serves 12 arctic and northern uluses (region) that occupy a half of the Republics territory. Transportation of goods for the Republic through the Northern Sea Route is effected by the Murmansk Shipping Company (basic port-Murmansk), Far East Shipping Company (âasic port-Vladivostok), Prymorsk Shipping Company (basic port- Nakhodka) and Arctic Shipping Company (basic port-Tiksi). The sea shipping ñompanies account for 45% of the total volume of the goods carried.

The Lensky Amalgamated Riverine Steamship Line supplies 55% of the total volume of goods for the Republic. The river-sea type ships are used for export and delivery of goods to the mounts of the Anabar, Olenyok, Yana, Indigirka and Kolyma rivers.

The Northern Sea Route integrating the sea and river routs into a common transport system solves the pressing social problem of today: to supply the population of the Republic with fuel, provisions and goods. For the purpose of compensation for the transportation expenses the Republic receives every year state financing support (in 1998-841 million rbls.). Organizational measures taken by the RF Government produced in 1997 a 20% increase in the volume of goods delivered to the Arctic region of the Republic, as compared to 1996.

The transport support to the indigenous peoples activities in the Arctic zone of the Republic is upgraded in compliance with the Federal Program Economic and Social Development of the Indigenous People of the North till 2000. The major portion of the Programs budgetary resources (51%) is appropriated for renovation of the river, road and air transport in the areas inhabited by native population.

The Northern Sea Route serve for the Republic as a transport base for development of the international economic, social and cultural relations. The volumes of exported and imported goods transported in the interests of the Republic at the stage of its sustainable economic development after 2005, can exceed 1 million tn. per year.

Organisation of international sea tourism on the NSR basis can become a source of currency supply to the Republics budget. Realisation of the international transit traffic project via the route: Europe-NSR-Lena River-Railway-Asia can have a positive impact on the socio-economic situation in the Republic.

The priority development of the transport infrastructure in the areas of intensive economic activity on the Republics territory will reduce the rate of migration, decrease the unemployment rate, contribute to increment in cash incomes and growth in the living standard.