Foreign investors and entrepreneurs show growing interest in the development of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), Russian Ambassador at Large for the Arctic Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nikolay Korchunov told TASS.
According to him, international businesses “have high practical demand for Arctic projects, whose long-term strategy stipulates the year-round use of NSR as a main transport artery to deliver products manufactured or extracted in the Arctic zone to the international market.” He added:“We see greater interest of cruise operators in NSR.”
Korchunov also said that Russia intends to actively promote the Arctic sea route, which is expected to ensure sustainable shipping. “Russia is consistently taking measures to develop safe navigation in high latitudes,” he said, pointing out that Novatek and Rosatom sent an eastbound LNG cargo via the NSR with ice-breaker support in February, which was the earliest start to the navigation season in the area to date. “This is highly appreciated by international companies, including both consumers of these products and investors,” Korchunov added.
The Northern Sea Route, which stretches the entire length of Russia’s Arctic and Far East regions, is expected to become a major trade route for goods shipped between Europe and Asia.
According to President Vladimir Putin, the route is “the key to the development of the Russian Arctic regions of the Far East,” and the goal is to make it a “truly global, competitive transport artery.”
The Arctic route from Southeast Asia to Europe cuts transportation time in half, compared to traditional routes through the Suez or Panama canals. In Soviet times, it was used mainly to supply goods to isolated settlements in the Arctic.