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Russian Senator Chilingarov Gives Up Lawmaking for Rosneft

Polar explorer and federal lawmaker Artur Chilingarov is reportedly set to trade in his Federation Council seat for a place at Rosneft in September, according to the Tula regional administration.

Chilingarov has no intention of abandoning the further development of the Tula region, however, having vowed to "continue to work for the good of the Tula region and help [Governor] Vladimir Gruzdev in his work on [the region's] large-scale transformations," Interfax reported.

It remained unclear what position Chilingarov would hold at Russia's top oil producer. In late May, Reuters reported that the company had considered filling Morgan Stanley chairman John Mack's seat on the company's board with Chilingarov.

Chilingarov has a long track record of work in the Arctic. Among other things, he is well-known for having planted a Russian flag on the seabed of the North Pole in 2007.

The longtime Arctic enthusiast has declared on numerous occasions that the region belongs exclusively to Russia. In 2009, he announced before the State Duma: "We will not surrender the Arctic to anyone."

In recent years, Russia has moved to claim broader control of the Arctic in a bid to boost future economic growth. In January, President Vladimir Putin urged Security Council officials to spearhead development of the vast untapped natural reserves in the region.

Rosneft in particular has invested heavily in projects in the Arctic and sought to develop the region's offshore hydrocarbon resources, having announced a $400 billion long-term investment plan for resource extraction in the area in early June.

The company said at the time that it counted 34 explorable oil and gas fields in the Arctic.

Chilingarov currently serves as the Kremlin's envoy for Arctic and Antarctic issues. He was appointed to the Federation Council in November 2011. He served as a State Duma deputy from 1993 to 2011.

See also:

Despite Sanctions, Exxon Starts Drilling for Oil in Russian Arctic

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