Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 363

363 Arctic Yearbook 2014   in the surroundings of Kirovsk and therefore increases the prospects for economic diversification in the town. In turn, in Revda the local mindset is more mining-oriented. Moreover, Revda, as the more remote community, also suffers from a lack of transport connections, such as an airport. Nevertheless, in the Arctic context both the location of Kirovsk and Revda provides them with a relatively good accessibility from the viewpoint of departure areas of potential domestic (Central Russia) and foreign tourists (Europe) as there are various transport connections. Moreover, the tourism in the Murmansk region has potential to benefit from cross-border programs. The tourism information center of Kirovsk was opened as a result of LapKola II project, which promoted crossborder tourism business in Lapland and Southern Murmansk Region (Popova 2012, personal communication, June 9, 2012). Nevertheless, the economic diversification of Kirovsk and Revda is dependent on several external factors, such as continuous repositioning of Russia in a global context and its consequences at the local level. On the one hand, the escalation of political tensions in 2014 with worsening relations and sanction policies between Russia and Western countries will have unpredictable consequences on Russian resource communities and their industries. The worsening image of Russia in 2014 and the decreasing interest of foreign investors to invest in Russia have jeopardized the modernization of a Russian economy that requires foreign investments and foreign know-how. Consequently, a lack of investment in modernization strengthens the resource-based path of development in Russia, and postpones economic diversification as extractive industries do not need the same international openness (Humphreys et al. 2007: 4) that a more diversified economy would need. Moreover, negotiations related to a visa-free regime between Russia and the EU have been postponed and the image of Russia as a tourism destination has deteriorated, which at least postpones the possibilities for centres such as Revda and Kirovsk to develop plans to attract foreign tourists. On the other hand, there is still a long-term development tendency towards Russia’s integration to world markets, which is represented by Russia’s WTO agreement. Nevertheless, the external factors of development will likely have a significant impact on the potential for economic diversification in resource communities in border areas. Table 1 shows the general characteristics of Kirovsk and Revda as mining towns, the importance of their mining industries as employers and the general characteristics and strategic goals of their CIPs, which promote investment projects to further economic diversification. The planned projects in CIPs aim to activate different stakeholders. Their target was to develop public-private partnerships for development of investments projects,