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Siberia development in XXI century

Siberian regions need industrialization that requires about 10 years. This fact was declared at the meeting on Siberia development at the end of October by Vladimir Putin. The question was as to several dozens of priority projects, the ones are planned to be implement in the region in the years coming. That is the development of Siberia, as raw materials, new high-tech industrial clusters development. In addition, it is the development of Siberia, as one of the most attractive tourist regions of the Russian Federation."
As the main Siberian projects, the Prime Minister has specialized the following: construction of new railways and automobile roads, the bridge across the Angara, putting into operation of Boguchanskaya hydroelectric power station and aluminum smelter, as well as the new deposits development.
  The special attention causes the quite lawful desire of our country in the international community.   Once Russia has proceeded with the application to increase its continental shelf in UN but the special commission has rejected it because of lack of evidence. After that, the work on preparing a new application has begun, within this work in 2005 and 2007, the series of investigations were conducted onboard of “Akademik Fyodorov” research ship and ”Russia” icebreaker, including bathymetrical seismic investigations, sampling from the bottom, gravity irregularities measuring, airborne geophysical measurements. In addition, some drifting stations were organized.
The knowledge of oil and gas fields of the Russian Arctic shelf is 2 points below average Russian figures and 20 times lower than it is in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea. In the Arctic shelf of Norway with significantly smaller area than Russian one, the number of drilled wells is equal to 1500, with this, the Russian area part has only 58 wells. By now, in the western Arctic 15 deposits of raw hydrocarbons have been striked. Per classification: 3 deposits pertains to unique, 9 - to large, 2 - to middle and one - to small. Deposits were opened by the first wells, successful ratio was 0.8, the maximal reserves growth per one drilled well were about 1 billion tons of fuel-equivalent that is one of the best figures in the world. At present time, from the previously opened deposits, only 2 ones are prepared for commercial production. They are “Stockmannovskoe” and “Prirazlomnoye” deposits, firstly the geologists discovered them in 1988 and 1989. Despite significant predictive resources of oil and gas, the Russian shelf remains studied very poorly.

The Russian Government has decided to afford the right to “Gazprom” to use subsurface site of internal seawaters, located in the aquatorium of the Gulf of Ob of the Kara Sea for exploration and production of hydrocarbon of North-Kamennomysskoye gas deposit. The press service of Russia government informs that the corresponding decree was signed by Mikhail Fradkov at that time.
The coordinates of the deposit are specified in this document.   Paradigmatic phrase of M.V. Lomonosov that “Russian power will grow with Siberia” is often heard in public discourse as to the future of the Russian Zauralie. If before 90s of XX century it was little more than the statement of self-evident truths, then for the last decade, it increasingly gets if not controversial nature, then in any case, interrogotive one. In comparison with Lomonosov the presentation as to the state power has changed very much (and it has been changing up to now), Russia has changed itself, the future image that it should be has changed, and so the place of Siberia and the Far East in both this future and the space of modern life in our country was changed. At that, everything has changed so dramatically that we were confronted with the question, which was just unthinkable over a distance of last four centuries of Russian intensive colonization of Zauralie: “Is there the impending danger that Russia can lose both Siberia and Far East?” What was changed for last decades in Siberia and Far East insomuch that the correction of image of future of this vast and rich land? Evidently, Siberia and Far East have changed not so much as the country has changed and more precisely the world where Russia exists today. 1. The state has refused from complex and task-oriented design of future of Siberian and Far Eastern territories. The state had performed Siberia and Far East planning before 90-ies of the outgoing century. Cossacks, soldiers, papas were Russian conquistadors, which were commissioned by the state to digest new territories, building on them prisons and churches – the outposts of both Empire and Orthodoxy. Later, if to be exact, the Russian government has planned the development of Siberia and the Far East, paved Transsib, initiated migration of peasants in consequence of Stolypin's reform. In the Soviet years Zauralie passed into: a huge site for the uniform economics of location, raw materials base of USSR industry, and later of entire CMEA. During the Second World War in both Siberia and Far East the defense plants were created and which were the doubles of the ones located in the European part of the country with taking into consideration the future dragged-out trench war. As early as 1983, the half of RSFSR new buildings was located in Siberia. At that time the state comprehensive plan was, according to which the industry of development of rich natural resources, including industrial development of virgin lands of Siberia, was created sequentially in all Siberian and Far Eastern territories. All that was escorted by large-scale migration of population from the western regions of the country. People relocation was to provide modernization of both economy and social sphere of frontiers. Low population density allowed to plan both development of the region and its human population from “new leaf”. But during the last decade, the Russian government actually refused from task-oriented and planned development of Siberia as a single region. Although the Federal Target Program "The guideline of Social and Economic Development of Siberia for the period until 2005” is approved by the RF Government Decree No. 1510 of December 19, 1998 but the federal funding of this program projects has not produced yet. 2. Country together with Siberia and Far East, were included in the global world and global economy, which in many respects devalued the Zauralie value as the giant space of Russian state growth. Before the last decade of XX century, the territory was habitual, desired wealth of Russia. All great modernization jerks of the country were associated with both colonization and new territories development. The spatial extension of the country was connected with its extensive growth. It is reasonable that Siberia and the Far East over the past centuries were the main operative theater for Russia, where colonization processes were deployed. But the post-industrial world with its postmodern values has restructured public life, including

economic one. Although the geographical extent is valuable yet, but now it is not a necessary factor of life-sustaining activity of the world of financial, intellectual and commodity flows. The boundaries have become permeable, and the local regions development level has become to surpass the huge territories development level. As the author of the well-known work "The End of the Nation State" Kenichi Omae has calculated, if Tokyo and three adjoining prefectures had set up an independent state, the one would have taken the third place in the world after USA and Germany in terms of GDP volume. Another region of Japan (Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe) could be the sixth after the United Kingdom. The very same highly developed “States- provinces" have originated all over the world: Northern Italy, Baden-Wurttemberg in Germany, the Silicon Valley and San Francisco in the USA. Annual export of computer software of little New Delhi has exceeded 7 billion of U.S. dollars that is fully comparable to the armament sales on foreign markets of whole Russia. Therefore, the wealth of huge territories of Siberia and the Far East have transformed into remoteness from both the decision-making centers in the country and from the borders of the global world The world has moved the coordinate system of development and we have turned out to be the periphery in this system. Even more, not only vast territories, but many of the raw materials resources of these territories are no longer so necessary for both Russia and open world.
3. The global peace has had an impact on the socio-economic development of Siberia and Far East much more than we usually imagine. Competition with the world economy has forced to reevaluate Siberia and the Far East industrial potential. The industry, created generally in the 60s and 70s, is assigned to the questionable possessions and needs radical modernization. However, the most difficult thing of the modernization process is not the urgent need of money, not huge transfer expenses to overcome the spatial remoteness of the region, and this difficulty is in the absence of a well - defined vision of the Russian Zauralie future, clear imagery of the development of this huge region. Without such understanding, it is difficult to wait for severe investments in Siberian-Far Eastern territory. Who will invest in them, if their future is uncertain? Therefore, we cannot attract foreign investors. Stockholder equity uses the bare possibility to escape to the regions where the prospects of development are more defined. It flows into the Russian European part and even abroad. At appropriate time our eastern neighbors in China and other countries of Asia-Pacific Region, while designing their future, have attracted the external investors – the agents of the global world that are the representatives of the most developed states. For this purpose, they have set up on their territory the special economic zones - the experimental areas to feel the way to future by means of preliminary investing in development of these zones of significant funds in the amount from 30 to 50 million U.S. dollars per square kilometer. Evidently that the possibility to follow the example of the countries of Asia-Pacific Region to set up such zones, we missed in the 80's, when the country still had the necessary resources and in the world the strong expectations of quick economic growth across post-Soviet space were. At present time the global world directs the development of not only the countries but also such regions as Siberia and Far East, and the possibilities of both Russia and its federal subjects, to participate in the directions choice, are not so large unfortunately.
For Siberia and Far East, the denoted changes in their lives mean the presentation of new problems that require early and categorical answer: 1. Who will take upon oneself the mission to design the development of both Siberia and Far East in the present context? 2. Where will this future come from? 3. What are the basic parameters of social and economic system of this region that we can and must achieve in the projected future? What are Siberian and the Far Eastern competitive advantages in geo-economic competition of both Russian regions and global world?
Thus, concerning the question of "the designer of the future" for Siberia and Far East, in practice the Federal Center has abnegated these powers. At some time it seemed that the one would be replaced with so-called "new business executives" of the Russian economy - bankers and the owners of large integrated business groups created on the basis of privatization of governmental property. They actively have put under control over the economic potential of Zauralie, buying enterprises, placing their own people on key position in government agencies.
But 1998 year has buried these hopes. Many banks have blown out, demonstrating their economic policy falseness. Survivor enterprises of resource group phased out their technological systems up to the size of the “pipe” to the West. The development of huge territory of Zauralie has curled like shagreen leather up to the development local areas of the natural resources. Siberian and Far Eastern territories immediately stratified per both economic status and living standards, depending on whether there are in their land oil, copper ores and other commercial deposits that are sold in foreign market or not. The exploitation of the primary industry that remained after Soviet Union became the most profitable business in the country eastern regions. At that, over the past decade, our Russian "oligarchs" have built neither any new "Norilsk Nickel" nor new Samatlor. In many respects, they live as rentiers having pushed aside other relatives from the father’s inheritance. If at present time the transnational enterprises design the future of Siberia and Far East, then they do it only in the limited areas, laying the technological fixation to the extraction of raw materials and strong dependence on external market. Moreover, transnational enterprises assume responsibility for territorial development extremely unwillingly, trying to get rid of the social sphere, inventing new taxes minimization schemes by means of “capital outflow” organizing. They try to act as "designers" of power of Siberian and the Far Eastern subjects of Russia. But, they are not successful in it. Administrative boundaries do not coincide with the boundaries of economic regions any more. At least all the most significant economic projects, which are considered as possible "locomotives" of Zauralie development: “transportation corridor“ such as Sevmorput, Transsib, cross-polar air routes; export of gas and electricity to APR countries is trans-regional. It seems that some regions lack the means and power to realize these projects.
As paradoxical it sounds, but maybe the only builder of Siberian Future and Far East, who is able to enroll this dimension into the new global world can represent the federal center, which will form universal economic and social policy in this region by establishing uniform legal life norms.



However, by designing new state development “project” of Siberia and Far East one should take into account that “framework” of modern lifestyle to which we are going to enroll this project. Depending on how the Future of the world is going to look like, the Future of Russian Zauralie is going to look alike. That’s why, the answer to the second issue of contemporary state policy in regard to the region seems obvious: “From where will the Future come?”. From global world, in which not only Siberia and Far East live, as well as our country.
We understand that the Future has transformed into worldwide technological development process and is no longer part of the independent national state property. Maybe that’s the reason why upon facing with the remoteness of “Grand seven” borders, the Siberian and Far Eastern regions drawn their attention to APR countries and first of all to China, as the most rapid developing state in the forthcoming century. We are ready to merge with them into independent economic complexes by offering our oil, gas, electricity, timber, metal, transportation corridors, in exchange for “access” to post-industrial world. Territorially these “access holders” are much closer to us than Western Europe or the USA. However, not all manifest truth is simple. As soon as we begin to understand concrete integration to world economy and world cultural, social and political dimensions scenarios, a problem of Future variability of global world arises. If the pluralistic same-polarity of the world awaits us in XXI century, by putting an emphasis on the USA and “Grand seven”, then upon becoming a resource base for APR, we are getting not into the second but into the third echelon to Future, consciously getting to first-priority development of costly and ecologically harmful resource technologies damaging the development of intellectual technologies. In development of new intellectual production the APR countries are more competitors for us than partners.
On the other hand, if we proceed from the multi-polar world construction, primarily, considering the competition with the USA, Eastern Europe, Japan and China, then the choice for strategic partner within this competition (it is understood that Russia in its current condition isn’t able to hold its independent and scalable economic and politic game in world arena) will pre-determine the fate of the country and its regions. Though, here the possibility for Russia, its Siberia and Far East to develop arises. By being a member of APR in terms of its Ural-Siberia core, the country will be able to stand out as some sort of a geological and economic bridge between Eastern Europe and APR. But to reach this goal one must rebuild the regions of this “bridge”, making them comfortable for goods and people transportation, saturating with business and life infrastructure.
That way we pass on to the consideration of the third issue of the contemporary state policy concerning Siberia and Far East: “What are the primary parameters of social and economic system of this region, which we may and must achieve in the projected Future?” What are the competitive advantages of Siberia and Far East within geological and economic competition of Russian regions and global world?” Principal uncertainty of global world Future places for us a new problem of development priority selection for Zauralie. All those so-called “three whales” of future social and economic prosperity of this region”: oil and gas production, electric power industry and transportation complex are seen as branches of Future, basically from the perspective of today. There are many “buts” disallowing to regard the perspectives of their development is excessively optimistic.  First of all, the technologic condition of these industries in Siberia and in the Far East leaves something to be desired. Gigantic investments are required in replacement of fixed assets of already existing productions. What to say about the rollout of new ones, in particular the development of extractable resources occurrences, development of transportation infrastructure?! Secondly, even if the country and its partners will find the capital and decide to direct them to eastern regions of Russia, one should take into account that investments, which are viewed today as indisputable and effective maybe tomorrow depreciated by the development of new technologies. Let’s say that nobody will give guarantees on preserving the types of cargo transportation and character of shipments in future. By betting on thermal engineering we may find ourselves facing shortage of energy carriers or principal changes of energetic technologies. Just imagine that if the project of power plant construction based on cold core!? What will happen to energy supply system?
Generally speaking, by investing in the Future, we get ourselves into a risky situation and have to remember the case of Irish Airport Shenon. Ireland built it as station for intermediate flight stop upon flying through the Atlantic. A free zone had been established for transit passengers. This project is viewed as “locomotive” for national economy. But to the moment of construction completion new types of airports brought into operation, and leading airlines begun to carry out non-stop flights from Europe to America. Realization of this colossal project didn’t bring expected results. One has a great wish to avoid the results of Siberia great development plans as Shennon.

And so affirmation of Future construction, much less for this large region is a risky project and mustn’t stop us on our way forth.

It is considered that Russian state policy on development of Siberia and Far East has to include the following obligations:

1. Development will lead to (already led to) deterioration of economic and social area homogeneity of Siberia and Far East. An intensive stratification of regions by social and economic level of development is held. Leader regions and depressive regions are identified. Now only resource bases are relevant to the first group. Notably the competition between some regions of Siberia and Far East became real competition not only because of investment acquisition, but also because of own goods promotion in world markets. Obvious that for every region own development plans must be developed.
 

2. TNC (Transnational Company), which actively operate in Siberia and Far East area form own programs and development plans, which frequently define the fate of the region. If the government wishes for their plans concordance, it must find the new regulatory instruments of TNC activity, because they are losing the features of national residents moving to the global world area, while traditional state means of influence on their activity become less effective.

3. Increasing dependence on outer space for Siberia and Far East, first of all, put the regional oriented on reclamation of primary sources industry into the compatible position to all similar worldwide enterprises, secondly, lead to inclusion of Siberia raw materials to the processor chains, that are being settled not so much Russia or post-soviet territory as in whole global economy. Herein, global world expressed its interest only in receiving of partial types of Siberian and Far-east raw materials. Moreover, the dependence on outer space lately expressed in demographic call of this region of Russia, from the side of its Asian neighbors. Therein, by the developing of cooperation ties with countries of the Asian Pacific Region, it is not acceptable to appear in this process only as “guiding”, while giving them for the farming specific technological and economic cooperation, also regulation of the “game rules” on state-to-state relations.

4. The main competitive advantage of Siberia and Far East is in past is a huge territory as exploitation area today becomes a serious problem for country’s economy and for regions. At present, the economy resources are the exploited territories and the non-exploited areas are uncultivated ballast. Because of that close to be the main goal of the future construction project for the depressive territories of Siberia and Far East that more extremely experience demographic challenge from Asian neighbors and entered into degradation phase of industrial heritage of USSR, it could be the project of “natural reserve” creation on huge area. On the totally exploited territory of the world culturally settled and internationally protected recreation of a non-exploited territory can appear the lungs of the planet, that are the last resource of the humanity in future, which is kind of “reserve stock” of passage to postindustrial world. The realization of this project could attract resources for the reduction of human pressure on the environment of Siberia and Far East from outside and inside of the country! By forming a new image of the government, composing the new world mission for the regions and country, it will allow to form new technology cluster of postindustrial world across Russian territory.

Unfortunately, now we cannot undervalue the disintegration tendencies of relations between the west and east parts of Russia: unfortunately, it is the reality that is formed by macroeconomic and by foreign-policy circumstances. They include the following:

- objective redirection of economic connections of Siberia and Far East regions from European part of the Russia to the world markets that is provided by higher commercial appeal of the last; it refers not only to products, but also to the financial resources (withdrawal of capital);

- unconcealed economic and migration expansion of both China and Korea, when all of the potential benefits are being used by foreign capital only and they correspond to the political views of these countries;


- abnormal high criminalization of economic life in all Siberian and Far Eastern regions that together with all-Russian political instability creates thick barriers for the attraction of “net” and mutually beneficial investments and for the realization of rows of international project that are integrated oriented (for example, for organization of Trans-Siberian container transportations);

- demolition of recent informational space union that creates barriers for the objective and all sided estimation of regional situations and problems, as well as the impression of full isolation of east and west of Russia;

- loss of infrastructure elements, that drag after it the breakup of all-Russian resource-business connections (divergence to Kazakhstan of part of transmission facilities - Siberia – Europe etc.);

- dramatic (multiple) and continuing increase in prices with high rate on all kinds of transport, connecting the Siberia and Far East with European part of Russia;

- birth of essentially new factor of east and west sectors disintegration of Russian market on the account that manufacturers, which are located in these regions began to compete between themselves (forest, coal, iron);
  - general weakness of the Federal Center, absence of required attention of federal authorities to the problems of Siberia and Far East, its concentration (formal and poor resulting) only on so called northern shipment;
- formation of people and political elites impression regarding Siberia and Far East, that federal authority bodies consist of people that have never worked in both Siberia and Far East, that do not understand their problems and being apathetic to their fates; the cessation of previous personnel rotation practice of Federal Center with wide attraction of experts from all Russian regions and in the first place from Siberia and Far East.

It is considered as axiom that in the
ХХI century the close integration of Siberia and Far East both on inter-Russian economic space and in the sphere of foreign economic ties will be based on “three whales” of future social-economic prosperity of this region - oil-and-gas producing, electric power and transport facilities.
The forced development first of all has to be directed to oil-and-gas facilities of west and east Siberia that owns great integration potential. Estimating the export constituent of this potential, it should be taken into account that on the given estimations, the potential need of Asian Pacific Region in import of Russian gas is estimated on the level of 45-80 billion cubic meters in 2010. If we add to it that Japan, South Korea and other countries of Asian Pacific Region have plans on creation of international and regional energy supply systems, then the geopolitical relevance becomes obvious for Russian accelerated development of effective gas industry in east Siberia and North.

Special importance of distance conditions and large space dispersion of human settlements of the Siberia and Far East, as well as providing supplies of various materials to the arctic sector, has transport system of this region. Such problem of
ХХI century will demand the resolution of several tasks, namely the modernization of main lines, construction of highways and renaissance of northern seaway. Among the transport connections development projects “North-South” it is discussed the construction of railway from Baikal-Amur railway to Yakutsk, which will reduce the distance of international transportations east-west-east. In perspective is the creation of new transit way using the Tiksi port, Lena river, railway to Yakutsk with outlet to the Baikal-Amur magisterial. Substantial potential of integration is owned by the project so called trans-Siberian container bridge: transportation of transit cargos over the Transsib, can grant to the country up to one billion of dollars each year and become one of essential sources of the tax charges without special capital outlays on organization of such transportation development, however it requires resolution of extremely severe issues related to the controlling of the transport crimes, insurance guarantees.
The Russian Federation strategic guidelines of development, particularly Siberia and Far East, foresee the realization of one of the most important national resource of Russia, namely the international transit through the domestic transportation lanes.

The geographic location of Russia pretty much predetermines the Russian Federation strategy and policy, its economic development. Occupying the center of Eurasian continent, Russia without fear or favor is called to play the role of geopolitical bridge between the west and east countries. Its simultaneous presence in Europe and Asia affects the content of economic, political, cultural processes in these parts of the world. While having advantageous geographical location, accesses to sea, as well as, having interplanetary, air, water navigation, Russia owns unique capabilities of participation in international transit.

The formation of compatible transportation corridors on the territory of Russia fulfills both external and internal economic interests of the Russian Federation.

In its way the transit is the export of transport services, provided by national companies to the freight owner and carrier while the freight and the mean of transportation move across territory of Russia. Set of these services depend on the development level of national commodity distribution network and its quality. Above all, these are the services of national carriers, forwarding agents and operators.

The services, related to the transit transportations are one of “high reparation” products that ensures income to the state, without consuming nonrenewable natural resources.

Transit is the direct receipts in terms of payment for transport and associated services, that transit country receives, direct investments to the development of own transport infrastructure, implementation of the most common transport technologies. Creation of new working positions, revenues from the transit is capable of filling budgets of all levels.

A wide range of countries, especially European such as, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Austria, Holland, Baltic States, having relatively small territory, using their advantageous geographical location, long time ago turned the transit into essential income items of their budgets.

Particularly, Holland while not having special advantages, became the most important European transit crossing. The partition of transit in gross volume of Holland export services reaches more than 40 per cent.

Transport transit fits smoothly in the geological objectives of any government that forms clear strategic targets of strengthening their position in front of itself in modern, dynamically developing world.

Globalization, being an objective tendency of human civilization progress, opens additional scopes and promises considerable profit for the economy development of various countries. By virtue of it the economy on costs of production is achieved, resource distribution is optimized, assortment of goods grows and their quality increases on the national markets, scientific and technical achievements becoming widely available.


Globalization of the economy and following it development processes of the foreign economic relations demand new approach oriented on the transport development, redistribution of the goods and passenger flows. 
Growth of the foreign trade demands qualitative reconsideration of the transport component.

The main task of Novosibirsk is to carry out in full, advantageous geographical location of our city and advanced transport infrastructure as native transitional bridge between Europe, Asia and the mineral resources of the Arctic region.

The prospect development of transport complex of Siberia, Far East and Transbaikalia, where Novosibirsk takes one of the leading places, can be divided into two phases.

First phase is the final stabilization of the work of transport complex.

The main task of this phase is creation of economic and legal-normative framework for the transport activity, aimed on the development stimulation of manufacturing and increase of competitive ability of Siberia, Far East and Transbaikalia export products, transport tariffs development system, mainly as to the railway and air services.

It is necessary to receive scientifically proven recommendations on reduction of transportation costs in East regions of the country. It proves the fact that the partition of the transport costs in the gross domestic products of the Siberia, Far East and Transbaikalia territory exceeds 20%, for north regions 60% (averagely 9% across Russia).

The moment regarding the reformation of the state support delivery system for the north regions became ripe.

It is necessary to work out the issue on remission of VAT on aviation fuel, so the delivery of it to the north and east regions wouldn’t bear heavily on the consumers-airports and the one would be on equal price of aviation fuel delivery from abroad (Korea, Canada and etc.)

Second phase is the acceleration of transport complex development for Russia economy implication into the world economic processes of Asia-Pacific Region in the period until 2010, including the reclamation process of Russian arctic shelf.
Besides the export and import through the seaports of Far East there is possible growth of forwarding to the north regions and receiving from these regions. By the estimation, the total goods turnover in 2005 was 40 million tons and in 2010 was 45-65 million tons. As result of it there will be need in the development of current overload ratings. What part will Novosibirsk receive out of that?
For these purposes, the reconstruction and development of the seaports overload ratings are suggested, including the Gulf of Ob river.

The following can be referred to the region transport development problems:

- ending of support magisterial railway network formation (reinforcement of Transsib, ending of BAM construction);

- creation jointly with other transport kinds the exploitation-technological and economic conditions for engaging of international transit flow to the Russian railways;

- development of international border crossings and terminal economy, that will provide an acceleration of technological and customs processing and comfortable conditions for passengers.

Main problems that river transport faces:
- controlling of both the depths and sizes of the midstream on the producing properties of the rivers of Ob-Irtishskiy, Yenisey basins, in the upper reaches of the Lena, realization of repair works of Novosibirsk gateway system, on the Krasnoyarsk hydro power canal-lift;

- in Lenskiy basin – the replacement of base port to Yakutsk (after the construction of Amur-Yakutsk railway);

- fleet appending of Obskiy, Eniseiskiy, Lenskiy and Amur basins.

The discussions that Siberia is “fairly wealthy territory with excellent prospects”, long ago became banality for essays of local politicians of all levels: from federal to parochial. Yes, we are wealthy.

On the territory of Siberian Federal District 99% of all-Russian metal-stocks of the platinum group, 85% of lead, 80% of coal and molybdenum, 77% of zinc, 70% of nickel and copper, more than 40% of gold and silver are concentrated. Actual reserves of oil in Siberia compose 77% of the Russian reserves, 85% of natural gas. Water power resources compose 45% of Russian potential.

Almost 60% of Siberia territory is covered with forests – it is 9% of the world and more than 40% of the Russian forest reserves. It is not surprising that the leading industry of the Siberia is production. It must be confessed that all we have now is the result of colossal investment projects that were carried out in Siberia by the soviet government in 30-40s and then in 60-80s.

Today the Siberia economy per the most types of products has become noncompetitive. All large investment projects in Siberia were called off in the beginning of 90s. And the country “ceased on growing with Siberia”. The first who stopped were the enterprises of the military industrial sector and engineering, then the timber and light industry. Job cuts began on beforetime perspective enterprises. People, who were moving to Siberia for “rich pickings” from all of the Union, started to pack their bags. Today, the salary here is the same as in European part of the country, so what is the point of living in the country of “permafrost”? The territory has lost its perspective, and people have lost their hope.

It is appear that the costs on the realization of the “Siberian economic development project” are equal to costs that were spent on the reclaiming of the Tyumen north in 70-80s. It is hard to estimate the size of the work that was done to the nowadays economists that are used to billions of USD. It is hard to estimate it even without converting soviet Rubles.

In accordance with various estimation in 70-80s in economic development of this region yearly was invested approximately 200 billion of rubles. By the official rate of above mentioned years it is around 300 billions of dollars. It is well understood that the recalculation isn’t all correct but even with such rates, it means that such investment projects cannot be afforded by Russia today.

It is obvious that without the attraction of sole capital (domestic and foreign) the realization of Siberian development strategy can’t be carried out. Although, today at most the own funds are invested in principal capital of the enterprises of Siberian federal district. If we talk about the foreign investments in Siberian economy, then their volume from 1998 stays at the same level – within the range of 1 billion dollars.

Few years ago the governor, today he is the ambassador of President in Siberian federal district, Victor Tolokonsky, approved the idea of creating in Novosibirsk combined transport knot (MVTU). Right after that it was to assume a considerable increase of the revenues of the regional budget, increase of granted working positions, volumes of transportations and constructions, approximately four times the tax base will be increased. Back then the Novosibirsk MVTU project was rewarded with a high score by the experts at the international exhibitions in Hannover, Marseilles and Frankfurt am Main. As the authors of the regional dedicated program on development of transport knot, thought that because of its integrated nature, this program is the main agent of investment attracting to the Novosibirsk region for the development of the most industries and enterprises of the region. During the development of it, the emphasis was dedicated to support and stimulation of the most perspective for Novosibirsk economic activities, creation of conditions for the flow-in of additional freight and other product flows to the region, creation of large regional wholesales distribution corporeal, financial and telecommunication centers, stimulation of investment process.

The Novosibirsk zone of influence, include 17-18 millions of people. By the results of the work carried out by independent experts, Novosibirsk got the highest rates by seven different concepts out of ten possible. Having said so the competitors of the Siberian federal district capital – Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk that also develop plans of transport knots creation on own base – received respectively four and two high scores… It is seems to be that in view of recent developments around the Arctic shelf forcing the best practices can provide Novosibirsk with the status of capital state not only of Siberian federal district but also one of the Russian polar region supply center, since Novosibirsk got all of the capabilities to deliver the necessary goods to the Gulf of Ob river and further to the Kara Sea.

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Author: Юрий Карновский

Publication date : 03 February 2011 01:00

Source: The world and we

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