Russian Nationals Now Eligible To Claim One Free Arctic Hectare Of Land – The European Russia Opportunities

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Nearby Arctic Norway. Russia wants to follow these types of residential and commercial developments.

By Chris Devonshire-Ellis

Free land available on Russian borders with Finland, Norway with connections to regional air, road, and rail services

Russian nationals can now claim one free hectare of land in the countries Arctic zone as the government seeks to expand its development. The Arctic Hectare program now extends to all Russians nationwide from yesterday (February 1, 2022) after a six-month period in which only existing Arctic residents were eligible. The entire Russian Arctic region is a designated Free Trade Zone, while investors can also receive tax benefits and incentives.

Initially, land plots are issued for a five-year period. Afterwards, citizens can choose to rent, sell, or give away the land if they no longer wish to own it. Land plots are also available to participants in the state program for repatriating ethnic Russians living abroad.

Applications can be made here.

There are several European regions of Russia that nationals can apply for free land, we describe them as follows:


Murmansk City

The Murmansk region is east of the Norwegian border and has road and rail connections through to St.Petersburg and Moscow. Murmansk was designated as the Capital city for the entire Arctic region and has significant Port and logistics infrastructure including roads to Norway and Finland, together with regional rail, road, and air connections. The city is 108km from the border crossing with Norway and 182 km from the Finnish border crossing. It has a population of about 300,000, while more than 700,000 hectares are being made available as part of the free land scheme. There are considerable European and Asian trade opportunities in Murmansk due to the Port being part of the Northern Sea Passage linking Asia with the EU. Regional tourism opportunities due to the proximity of Norway and Finland are also promising.

More information about developments in Murmansk can be found as follows:

Karelia Republic

Petrozadosk City

The Karelia Republic of Russia shares a 723km border with Finland, being geographically between the White and Baltic Seas. The capital city is Petrozavodsk and is connected by rail to St.Petersburg and Moscow. There is a regional airport. The main border crossings with Finland are Vaalimaa and Nuijamaa, attracting typically 4 million crossings a year. Elsewhere the border is extensively guarded on both sides to dissuade smuggling of goods between Russia and the European Union.  Petrozavodsk has a population of 280,000 and the Karelia region about 650,000. Some 337,000 hectares of land are being made available. Karelia has extensive trade and Northern European tourism potential.

Russia Creating A New Free Trade Zone In Karelia Bordering Finland And The European Union



Across the White Sea from Murmansk is Arkhangelsk, which is also positioning itself as a tourism, and trade destination. More sheltered from the Arctic Ocean than Murmansk, it is in a natural harbour and can offer summer sailing and related Arctic maritime activities. It is a medium sized Port and also being developed. Arkhangelsk is connected by rail to Moscow and has two regional airports. Arkhangelsk’s population is about 350,000. The region has extensive summer maritime tourism possibilities.

Arkhangelsk To Develop Marina For Foreign Sailors 

Nenets Autonomous Region

Naryan-Mar City

The Nenets autonomous district is to the east of Arkhangelsk, with the capital city being Naryan-Mar. It is on the Barents Sea in the Far North, an area that is being further developed with the multi-billion expenditure of the new Indiga Port, intended to be a major Port along the Northern Sea Passage. Nenets is the most sparsely populated district in Russia, with a total population of about 45,000, of which half live in the capital. Nenets itself is about four times the size of Switzerland. Naryan-Mar has a regional airport, and plans are being made to connect it by rail to the Russian national network. The main opportunities in Nenets would be businesses involved in lumber, specialist Arctic tourism and Northern Sea Passage shipping and transport logistics.

Russia Studies Rail Link To The Arctic Barents Sea

The Komi Republic

Syktyvkar City

The Komi Republic is a land-locked region of Eastern Europe to the south of Nenets. It is an important energy distribution and processing centre, serving as a services hub for the energy and gas fields in Nenets and Yamal-Nenets to the north. The capital city is Syktyvkar, which sits on the navigable Sysola River, which feeds into the Vychedga and Pechora Rivers emptying out north into the Arctic Ocean. Skytyvkar is also connected to the Russian national rail network and has good road infrastructure as well as a regional airport. The city has a population of  245,000 while the Komi region has a total of 900,000. Opportunities here would be in support services mainly in the energy and lumber industries.

Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region

Salekhard City

The Yamal-Nenets region is on the border of European Russia and Siberia, being remote Arctic tundra, best known for the oil and gas fields in the Yamal Peninsula. The capital city is Salekhard, while the largest city is Noyabrysk. The Russian Northern Latitudinal Railway is currently being constructed and will link Salekhard to the Russian-European rail network. This is expected to be completed by 2024. Noyabrysk’s railway mainly services the oil fields. Both cities have airports with Noyabrysk’s being the main connectivity. The total regional population is 500,000. Opportunities here are mainly industrial and energy sector and logistics supporting industries.  

New Arctic Road Connects East & West Yamal 

Previous Successes

The Arctic Hectare programme has enjoyed success in the Russian Far East, where it was initially rolled out. These have included an eco-glamping resort in Chukotka, a strawberry plantation in the Khabarovsk region and an Arctic poultry farm. The Arctic Hectare program comes as Russia races to take advantage of the region’s economic and strategic potential as it warms at a record pace. Moscow has been heavily investing in the development of the Northern Sea Route, which it is promoting as a cheaper, faster alternative to the Suez Canal for shipping between Europe and Asia. 

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