Russia’s new natural resource minister opens an Arctic office

The office, operating within the Ministry of Natural Resources, will have responsibility for meteorology, as well as Arctic and Antarctic research.

By Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer - June 19, 2018
Russia’s Minister of Natural Resources Dmitry Kobylkin. (Atle Staalesen / The Independent Barents Observer file photo)

Russia’s Minister of Natural Resources Dmitry Kobylkin has announced the establishment of a new Arctic department, saying an improvement of the ministry structure is needed in order to meet the requirements of President Vladimir Putin.

The reorganization of the powerful government ministry comes less than a month after Dmitry Kobylkin, former governor of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in Russ’a Arctic, was appointed federal minister.

The reorganization includes the transfer of issues related to meteorology to a new body, a Department of State Policy and Regulation with responsibility for meteorology and the study of the Arctic and Antarctica, according to the ministry.

The Ministry of Natural Resources is a key government body in Russian Arctic developments. It manages environmental protection, natural resources management, as well as international and legal issues related to the continental shelf.

It includes several powerful government agencies, among them the Forest Management Agency, the Nature Management Control Service (Rosprirodnadzor), the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet) and the Mineral Resource Agency (Rosnedra).