NSR may become year-round in five years, thinks Alexey Chekunkov
Construction of new ice-class ships will boost the navigation on the Northern Sea Route (NSR). Within five years, the navigation may become a year-round, said the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexey Chekunkov in an interview with RBC.
"The operating range of the NSR is constantly growing. First trips of season 2020 have been conducted extra-late, in January-February. But I believe that the ships will be sailing year-round within five years. The Leader icebreaker, as well as the other new ice-class ships, should help us in achieving this", he shared.
Mr Chekunkov has also added that the NSR will become a new global transport route only when a regular container line from the Far East to Murmansk or St. Petersburg will be established on it. "The strategic logic is to increase the volume of traffic and its efficiency, so that it will be more profitable to sail the NSR under the Russian flag. Then we will create a real alternative to the southern route," said the minister.
Let us remind that the Northern Sea Route is the shipping line, the main maritime communication in the Russian Arctic. It passes along the northern coast of Russia along the seas of the Arctic Ocean (the Barents Sea, the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea, the Chukchi Sea, and the Bering Sea). The NSR connects Russia's European and Far Eastern ports and the mouths of navigable Siberian rivers into a single transportation system. The length of the route is 5.6 thousand km from the Kara Strait to the Provideniya Bay.