Russia hopes to increase use of Northern Sea Route

By Freddie Pierce
Russia should be developing new transport corridors and upgrading old routes, according to Ambassador Gleb Ivashentsov, director of the Russian Center...

Russia should be developing new transport corridors and upgrading old routes, according to Ambassador Gleb Ivashentsov, director of the Russian Center for APEC studies.

In the run up to this year’s APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit, Ivashentsov spoke out about the necessity to develop new transport routes in Russia to avoid losing revenue to other economies.

"The Tran-Siberian Railway, BAM and Russian seaports on the Pacific coast require modernization. It is necessary to develop new transport routes both on the mainland and in the seas washing Russia," Ivashentsov told the press.

Quoted by an online news site, Ivashentsov explained: "If [Russia] does not come up with an initiative, other economies will turn up that will put the initiative forward. They will be seeking transport routes from the Pacific zone to Europe circumventing Russia which naturally damages our interests.”

The bulk of sea cargo from Asia to Europe currently follows two key routes, via the Suez and Panama canals, which are already overloaded.

Ivashentsov believes that new routes should be drawn to ease overloading, and believes that the Northern Sea Route should become one of these.

"This is a very promising task the implementation of which will globally change the correlation of forces in the transportation of cargoes from Asia by sea. In addition, it will give an impetus to the development of promising regions in the Russian Arctic," he added.

Ivashentsov hopes that intensive use of the Northern Sea Route will promote the expansions of Russian projects to develop reserves of hydrocarbons in the Arctic. He believes that the Asia-Pacific region will be the main consumer of these hydrocarbons, and that the Northern Sea Route should be used for delivering them. 

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