During his first trip ever to Chukotka, the Russian president met with the governor and held a Q&A session with residents
President Vladimir Putin has paid a visit to Chukotka. It is his first trip to Russia’s easternmost territory, which borders the US state of Alaska. According to the president, the region plays a pivotal role for the country and the whole world from a logistical standpoint amid the development of the Northern Sea Route, which offers the shortest path from East Asia to Western Europe.
After arriving on Wednesday, Putin said, “it’s better to see [for yourself] once, than to hear once,” noting that the visit has helped him understand the harsh conditions people deal with in Chukotka better.
He traveled from the airport to the region’s capital, Anadyr, in a special all-terrain vehicle, as paved roads are only found in cities and towns. The rest of the region, which is in the Arctic zone, only has temporary winter roads that are only passable when there is snow.
In Anadyr, Putin visited a multi-story greenhouse complex which provides Chukotka with fresh vegetables all year round, and met with the owner. Facilities such as this are critical for the region, whose soil is mostly permafrost, with temperatures dipping as low as -40C in January and rarely exceeding 10C (50F) in July. On top of that, Chukotka is one of the least accessible regions in Russia. The distance between Moscow and Anadyr is nearly 6,200 kilometers – an eight-hour flight.
Due to these factors, vegetable and fruit prices in the region are the highest in the nation. A kilogram of tomatoes costs 900 rubles ($10), while the same amount of bananas goes for 970 rubles.
Later in the day, Putin met with the region’s governor, Vladislav Kuznetsov, and held a Q&A session with local residents.
Among the issues raised during the event was state support for large families, to which the president promised to task the government with working out additional tax relief measures.
There are around 80km (50 miles) separating Russia from the US across the Bering Strait. However, Russia’s Big Diomede Island and America’s Little Diomede Island are separated by just 3km of sea.
January 10, 2024 at 10:14PM