Support The Moscow Times!

Russians Want Neutral Zone in Arctic, Poll Says

As Russia limbers up for its upcoming resource extraction drive in the Arctic, a poll showed that 69 percent of Russians favor making the region a neutral zone outside of the purview of sovereign states.

Forty two percent of 1,500 poll respondents in various towns said the extraction of natural resources in the Arctic was inadmissible, only slightly less than the 45 percent who favored resource exploitation, RIA Novosti reported.

Seventeen percent of respondents to the survey, conducted by the Kremlin-backed Public Opinion Foundation on Oct. 13, said the Arctic region ought to be divided between states.

Sergei Medvedev, an academic at Moscow's Higher School of Economics, advocated the handing over of the region to an international body at the beginning of October. When the plan was brought to the attention of Vladimir Putin in a closed meeting, the president reportedly called him a "fool."

While environmentalist organizations may be gladdened by the high proportion of Russians opposed to Arctic resource exploitation — and especially exploitation by a particular country — only 1 percent of respondents mentioned Greenpeace's Prirazlomnaya oil drilling platform protest Sep. 18, which resulted in the arrest and ongoing detention of 30 people and has kept Russia, Gazprom and the Arctic in the global spotlight.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more