Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 367

367 Arctic Yearbook 2014   the uncertainty that this entails. Thus, the volatility of the price of natural resources and its effects on the town represent the resource curse and impact on the opportunities for Kirovsk’s economic diversification. Hence, despite the lack of ‘psychological’ objections to diversification among the town’s leadership and the town-constituting enterprise, the economic consequences of the resource curse make the sustainability of Kirovsk’s economic diversification somewhat uncertain. In Kirovsk there were no clear expectations among the town’s representatives that the Russian state would paternalistically subsidize the construction of tourism infrastructure in the town. However, according to Popova (personal communication, June 9, 2012) it would be impossible to construct large tourism infrastructure without investments by the regional government and the Russian state. Therefore, Kirovsk’s Russian Lapland project also expected investment funded by the regional budget. However, there were expectations that OJSC Apatit would be a significant driver of economic diversification, which demonstrates the dependence of the community on this resource enterprise. Revda as a Resource Community Lovozerskii GOK (later LGOK) is the only major enterprise in Revda. LGOK mainly produces loparite concentrate and other rare earth metals, which are needed in various high technology processes and are strategically important for Russian industry and national security (KIPMMGP Revda 2010: 7, 11–12; Popov 2011). Thus, the well-being of Revda and its residents depends on the fate of LGOK’s mine (Shirmer 2008; “Zamestitel’ predsedatelya…” 2011). LGOK’s economic and financial situation and consequently its impact on the well-being of Revda was the object of most concern among the single-industry towns of the Murmansk region (Gorbunov, personal communication, June 19, 2012). The problems of LGOK began with perestroika and escalated with the ending of state procurement orders for the company (Shirmer 2008; A. Mamedov, The Head of the municipal administration of Revda, personal communication in Revda, June 18, 2012). The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the privatization of the enterprise and its decline was accelerated with a ruined vertical production chain as factories, which had utilized further the concentrate from Revda were left to the former Soviet republics and were unable or reluctant to continue their cooperation with LGOK (V. Kolokol’tsev, CEO of Lovozerskii GOK, personal communication in Revda, June 18, 2012; Mamedov, personal communication, June 18, 2012). The strategic importance of LGOK’s production (KIPMMGP Revda 2010: 7) has inspired an image within the company of its own importance. This self-image of its own strategic importance combined with LGOK’s long-lasting post-Soviet economic problems has created strong paternalistic expectations amongst the workers of the firm and the local administration that the public authorities, the regional government, and indeed the Russian state will subsidize the firm (“Pyat’ mesyatsev gornyaki…” 2006; “Zamestitel’ predsedatelya…” 2011). Moreover, the head of the municipal administration of Revda Alovsat Mamedov (personal communication, J [