Spitsbergen's future is not industrial but touristy
Aleksey Chekunkov, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic, at a meeting of the Council for the Development of the Far East, the Arctic and the Antarctic, voiced the archipelago's prospects.15 May 2023
The gradual reduction in coal mining, according to the minister, is due to the fact that coal is not the future of the archipelago, primarily Spitsbergen is interesting as a tourist destination. Over the next nine years, the amount of coal mined there will fall threefold. The Project Office for Arctic Development writes about it.
The State Trust Arktikugol, operating on Spitsbergen, was founded in 1931 and provided coal for the settlement and delivered it to Europe. A year ago, the Trust was handed over by the Russian government to the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic.
The new owner plans to attract tourists to the archipelago from friendly countries with extreme and adventure tourism projects, to provide transport links with Russia through sea cruises and direct flights.
There are also plans to establish an international science centre on Spitsbergen for BRICS and other interested countries and to launch international education programmes.