Andrey Samokhin – Arctic – Russia’s perspective

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In recent years Russia has been actively developing its northern areas, including carbon production, and extending the Northern sea route (the NSR), that becomes an alternative to traditional routs from Europe to Asia.

Territories, continental shelves and exclusive economic zones of 8 Arctic States: Russia. Canada, the USA (Alaska), Norway, Denmark (Greenland and the Faeroes), Finland, Sweden and Iceland are located within the Arctic.

Russian borders in the Arctic cover almost a half of the Arctic coast. The total cost of the minerals in the Arctic region of Russia exceeds 30 trillion dollars. For reference, the world economics’ volume in 2012 was about 70 trillion dollars. This region manufactures the production that provides about 11% of national income (by 1% population rate) and up to 22% of All-Russian export’s volume.

All of this creates the conditions, which give Russia an opportunity to play a key role in the development of the Arctic region. And here the importance of the NSR can scarcely be overestimated, because it is exactly the main Russian marine traffic artery in the Arctic.

Initially, this route had basically internal intent for Russia and was used for public and civil vessels’ passage and transporting of goods and raw materials between the Far East and the North-West of Russia.

As a result of long-term efforts by the beginning of 1990’s in the Arctic a well-developed system of protection was created that allowed using 7 nuclear and 8 linear diesel icebreakers, atomic lighter carrier “Northern sea route” and more than 130 ice-strengthened vessels on this traffic artery. The volume of cargo transported on the Northern sea route was more than 6 million tons in a year that 5 times exceeded the total volume of annual cargo traffic in the foreign Arctic.

Nowadays it’s necessary for Russia to make efforts to restore the lost positions that is not easy to carry out in the conditions of an increasing competition of the world policy parties for region resource’s usage.

The key direction of increasing of regional transport system effectiveness is the development of alternative routes between Europe and Asia, primarily the overland route through Russia and seaway through the North Sea route.

Estimating the perspectives of the development of the NSR, it’s necessary to take into account some circumstances.

First, according to estimates of experts in the sphere of transportation, a swift growth of volume of Eurasian transportation is expected in forthcoming decade. It’s commonly known that the 1% growth of production involves the 1.5% growth of transportation. Honestly, during recent years the previous volume of transportation on the NSR failed to be restored, as it was reduced almost in 4.5 times from 6.6 million to 1.5 million tons since 1987 till 1999.

However, it’s planned to increase it to 50 million tons by the year of 2020. In prospect, the volume of export transportation of liquid gas from the Yamal peninsula, gas condensate from Ob and Yenisei and oil from Timan-Pechora Basin will increase up to 20, 13 and 25-30 million tons a year respectively by 2015-2020. The volume of mineral fertilizes, nickel and timber transportation will also increase. Above that as a result of northern natural resources development, the transportation of machines and equipment will grow.

Secondly, in the connection with a swift economic development of the Asia-Pacific region, the NSR can produce a considerable profit to the Russian Federation budget. The Northern Sea route allows to carry out the transportation 1.5 times faster than the traditional route through the overloaded Suez Canal. The route through the Northern Sea is 2440 nautical miles shorter than Suez Canal that decreases the duration of the passage by 10 days, and in addition saves a huge amount of fuel, about 800 tons for average vessel.

Thirdly, a special currency is gained by the idea of reviving the transport connection on the Northern Sea route due to an acute problem of piracy in the Gulf of Aden. Sharp increase of risks while transporting cargo on the Southern Sea route and huge expenses that sheep owners as well as governments bear to keep naval vessels squadrons in unquiet regions create a quite good potential for transferring of cargo transported to other routes.

Fourthly, fuel saving and decreasing of passage duration lower costs on labour expense and reduce the cost of charter of the ship.

Fifthly, there is no payment for ship journey and restrictions on the size of vessel and queues. All these factors are present when passing the Suez Canal; however, ice-breaker dues are paid when using icebreakers.

At the same time it’s impossible to affirm that the NSR (if sudden warming doesn’t happen) can replace the Southern Sea route or the Trans-Siberian line, but under certain conditions it can be a competitive transport corridor for the transportation of certain cargos on certain routes. This primarily concerns the transportation of Russian raw materials mined from the Arctic region and their conversion product to Far Eastern countries. Thus, the development of the NSR will lead not only to volume growth of Russian cargo, processed by domestic carriers, but also to increase of hydrocarbon export on new routes and more competitive priced.

Russia has all necessary conditions for this.

Firstly, it has the biggest icebreaker fleet in the world.

Nowadays 75% of cargo traffic between Asia and Europe are transferred through the Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea, but in recent years the NSR has been included in the system of intercontinental transportation. Almost 3 years the running nuclear icebreakers have accompanied carriers on the route on transit cargo delivery from Europe to Asia and back. However nuclear-powered vessels lead not each carrier but convoys of 3 or 4 vessels. It had a positive impact on the growth of transportation tempo. In 2012 a large-tonnage tanker “ObRiver” with 135 thousand m3 condensed natural gas was transferred to Japan on the Northern Sea route. This passage opened a line of unique icebreaker steering that now are repeated every summer and autumn navigation.

It’s important to emphasize that the relations between Russian Nuclear-powered Fleet and cargo owners are becoming long-term. November 12, 2012 Leonid Michelson, the president of Novatek and Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation signed a cooperation agreement, according to which icebreakers will steer vessels on the Northern Sea route in no less than 15 years term.

Analyses, carried out by experts, testify that transit cargo transportations on the NSR will rise to 3-4 million tons by 2015 that will require 100 ice conducting a year. By 2019-2020 transit transportations on this rout will grow to 5 million tons a year that will require increase of the number of ice conducting up to 170-180. By 2030 the icebreaker steering need will be more than 200 a year. A year-round route operation as well as port service can reliably support 5-6 nuclear-powered icebreakers with a capacity of 60-110 megawatt, 6-8 non-atomic icebreakers with a capacity of 25-30 megawatt and 8-10 non-atomic icebreakers with a capacity of 16-18 megawatt. However their workload won’t exceed 70%.

For the short term up to 2015 the requirements of icebreaker support for cargo fleet will be satisfied by 6 active nuclear-powered icebreakers on the assumption of resources extension and good maintenance of icebreakers.

During 2015 – 2020 the minimum sufficient amount of nuclear-powered icebreakers will maintain at the level of 6 units.

Taking into account a forthcoming nuclear-powered icebreakers write-off due to their physical depreciation, the Government of Russia decided to allocate a budget for the construction of two new nuclear-powered icebreakers of LK-60 class with variable draft (from 8.5 m to 10.8 m), which will be the only able to replace the nuclear-powered icebreakers of “Arctika” and “Taimyr” classes.

Three of these icebreakers will be constructed by 2020: the first one is expected to be put into operation on December 30, 2017. Thus Russia will have already had new icebreakers by the time the old ones are written-off.

Main specifications of new icebreaker class are already known. Displacement of the nuclear-powered icebreaker of LK-60 class will be 23000 tons. Length: 172.2 m, beam: 33 m, height: 15 m. The engines of new atomic-powered vessels will present two atomic reactors with a capacity of 170 megawatt each. The cruising speed will account 22 knots that is 40 km/h. The endurance can last for six month and refill will be needed once every seven years. The crew will account 74 people.

This class of icebreakers will have a variable draft that will allow using such icebreaker not only on Arctic seas but also at the mouths of polar rivers. This new nuclear-powered vessel is supposed to operate in the western Arctic (Barents Sea, Pechora and Kara Sea as well as the mouth of Yenisei river and the Gulf of Ob).

Thus, Russia is at an advantage nowadays comparing with other pretenders which want to avail of Arctic wealth. Russia has about 20 diesel-powered icebreakers besides those six nuclear-powered ones (no country has nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet). To compare, Denmark has 4 icebreakers, Norway possesses only one, the USA has tree and Canada has two heavy and about ten small icebreakers. A great experience of operating in high latitudes also provides Russia with obvious advantage.

Secondly, only Russia has an opportunity to provide safe sailing along the whole NSR.

It stands to mention that the necessity of safety assurance in the Arctic is caused by several existing in these area risks of emergency situations both of natural and anthropogenic character. Severe climate (abnormal low temperature, hurricanes and unpredictable change of weather conditions to storm) can lead to buildings damages and shipwrecks. Besides the territories of Chukotka Autonomous region and Yakutia have more than thirty potentially dangerous units, including the Bilibino Nuclear Power Plant. At the same time storage bases of oil-products which constitute a danger for people lives and environment are located in large majority of settlements. However these lands are characterized by low population, undeveloped transport infrastructure and traffic system and isolation power-supply system. This is just a small quantity of factors which have a special impact on issues on safety assurance of population and territory.

According to The Ministry of Emergency Situations data more than 100 emergency situations a year occur in the Arctic territory of Russia and a steady growth of anthropogenic emergency situations is observed, among which transport accidents (30%) and explosions and conflagrations of manufacturing equipment (24%) prevail.

According to accepted Federal target program “Reduction of risks and mitigation of natural and anthropogenic emergency situations consequences in the Russian Federation by 2015”, the first of ten Ministry of Emergency Situations Search and Rescue centre opened on August 20, 2013 in Naryan-Mar. In 2014 one more Search and Rescue Centre which will provide safety of navigation in the Arctic will open in Murmansk and also four special Search and Rescue Centers are planned to be built in the Arctic regions of the Far East of Russia: one of them in Tiksi settlement in the Sakha Republic and tree others in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, more exactly in the cities Anadyr, Pevek and in Provideniya settlement.

Altogether the RF Ministry of Emergency Situations intend to construct 10 complex Search and Rescue centers in the Arctic by 2015, in Dudinka, Arkhangelsk, Nadym and Vorkuta besides those above-mentioned.

Some subdivisions consisted of rescuers, drivers, information and prognostic supply experts, duty officers, medical professions and psychologists are supposed to be formed for implementations of the functions in every arctic complex rescue and search center. As for technological infrastructure, the preference is planned to be given to cross-country vehicles, special purpose equipments, multipurpose launches and other equipments and instruments intended special for operating in the Extreme North conditions. At the same time, taking into account limited number of small aircraft in the regions of the Extreme North, the issue on using existing helipads and the construction of new ones, as well as the duty organization in settlements by aircrafts of the RF Ministry of Emergency Situations Rescue and Search center is observed. This will allow to react efficiently on arising accidents and carry out power projection to emergency areas in a short space of time.

Besides, the RF Ministry of Emergency Situations for the first time plans to get involved nuclear-powered icebreakers in efficient reaction to large-scale disasters in the arctic region of Russia. The issue on using of nuclear-powered icebreakers in search and rescue operations has already been studied together with the RF Ministry of Transportation that will allow to react effectively on accidents and emergency situations connected with sea transport and search and rescue at the sea.

In addition, it’s planned to create an air grouping consisting of 14 aircrafts (12 helicopters and two airplanes), which will be based on the airdromes of Murmansk, Vorkuta, Norilsk and Anadyr.

The rescue centers will provide a permanent standby mode and mode of urgent reacting on any emergency situation in the Arctic. These centers will be able to accommodate 974 people. The centers will be notable for their high-mobility, as they will be equipped with air tools, cross-country vehicles, all-purpose survival and fire-fighting equipment and watercrafts.

Within the Federal Targeted Program “Modernization of Russian transport system (2002-2010)” the engineering of new rescue vessels is in progress with total amount of 37 units, 15 of which are multifunctional rescue vessels, salvage tags, rescue boom-laying launches and sea diving support ships. These vessels can be used for search and rescue in the Arctic.

The construction of special leading rescue vessels and launches was started upon the project plans developed in 2008-2009.

The construction of this type of rescue and search vessels and launches will be continued during 2011-2015 within the implementation of the Federal Targeted Program “Modernization of Russian transport system (2011-2015)”.

In order to increase emergency readiness in the Arctic the next should be stipulated: creation of the maritime rescue sub center at the seaport of Tiksi, which is suppose to implement the functions of search and rescue coordinator in the eastern arctic region as well as maritime monitoring emergency control center and the creation of a special leading search and rescue oil spill response base.

Russia cannot allow uncontrolled sailing on the NSR from safety navigation consideration. The recent tragedy of the sinking of the South Korean motor vessel “Sewol” has shown that rescue services don’t always react efficiently even in common conditions. What should be said about arctic conditions where navigation and communication satellite’s work are complicated?

Thirdly, a serious negative feature of arctic routs is the lack of opportunities for accompanying trade. No ship has ever been sailing on the direct route. In order to cargo optimization and growth of navigation profitability, cargo carriers touch at intermediate ports on the way over to load and unload the cargo. Such opportunities are quite limited in the Arctic. That’s why the most important element of economic attractiveness of the NSR is the development of its infrastructure.

Russia makes an effort here in several directions.

The most important direction is the realization of the Government program on development of Russian Arctic region which will be supervised by Dmitry Kozak, deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

The main directions of the new Government program realization will be complex social-economic development of the RF Arctic region assistance, stimulation of priority direction of economic direction development as well as providing with its ecological security.

The program is aimed to accelerate the economic and social development of the country by means of involvement natural and evolutional potential of the RF Arctic region, based on the principles of resources effectiveness and ecological security

The goals of this Government program are realization of large-scale investment projects in the RF Arctic region; covering the Russian Arctic sector with global transport, energy, information and communication, complex life safety, ecological security and monitoring systems; creation and development of local human factors system in the Arctic region; forming of regulatory, organizational and scientific and technical base for the Arctic region development and improvement of public administration system.

The Government program includes four subprograms: “Development of priority economic sectors of the Russian Federation Arctic region” (creation of terms for intensive growth of mining industry and economic sectors with high percentage of  value added); “Development of supporting arctic infrastructure”; “Development of local arctic infrastructure of human factors infrastructure” and “realization of the Government program” (creation of the realization of Government policy system administration in the sphere of social and economic development of the RF Arctic region).

The total volume of finance resources for the realization of the program in optimum alternative in 2014-2020 accounts for 1.793 trillion rubles.

Budget allocations, with account of expended approximate requirement (subsidiary resources provision) in 2014-2020 will account for 623.3 billion rubles.

It’s supposed that successive realization of the Government program along with activities, stipulated by specialized Government programs of the RF and Federal target programs, will have a complex positive influence on the national security protection, its international authority growth and social and economic development of the RF Arctic region. The project of the Russian Federation Government executive order to affirm the Government program “Social and economic development of the Arctic region of the Russian Federation for the period until 2020” has been endorsed by its 20 participants.

The plan of activities project, which includes 60 activities on directions above mentioned, was developed by the order of the RF Government for realization of the program. 34 Federal executive authorities, 7 Federal subjects of Russia, which form a part of the Arctic region, Russian Academy of Science and State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom” will participate in the realization of this program.

The Ministry of Regional Development is the main executor according to 8 points of the plan. Two of them have been practically complied: the interagency coordination group on the control of the program realization has been formed and its position as well as structure has been affirmed.

On the authority of the RF Ministry of Regional Development, the program realization flow and results report will be given to the President of the Russian Federation annually on January 20 beginning with 2014

On January 13, 2014 the first sitting of the interagency coordination group on the control of the realization of the RF Arctic region development strategy and national security protection in the period until 2020 took place under the chairmanship of Sergey Nazarov, deputy minister of regional development of Russia. Representatives of the Federal Ministries and departments, Government corporations, Federal Subjects and academic circles took part in this sitting.

Among the main goals of group work there are efforts consolidation of interested subjects of state policy in the Arctic and consideration of complex investment projects, offered to realization within the Arctic territory of Russia.

Thus, the program is called for stimulation of infrastructure of the Arctic region development, where the NSR is of primary importance in the activation of industrial power, providing with timely fuel, food and manufactured products delivery to the regions of the Extreme North which are difficult of access.

The Arctic port “Sabetta” with border checkpoint was constructed in 2014 to improve investment climate and create favourable conditions for the development of business. Besides, the building of an international airport with the same name is in perspective. The establishing of its borders as well as the entry of international vessels in the port was allowed by the RF government Executive Order. The requirements concerning its provision of the necessary facilities were developed and reconciled with the Government monitoring bodies.

One of the higher-priority directions of the complex Arctic region development strategy is the construction project of a huge year-round port of Indiga with the power capacity of 30 million tons a year on the Barents seashore. The depths of this region allow to accept tankers with the deadweight capacity of 200 thousand tons. The project also makes provisions for the construction of a terminal and 610 km long railway “Sosnogorsk – Indiga” in the region of the Cape of Svyatoy Nos. This main line will give an opportunity to carry out a large-scale export of raw material processing product and to develop new uncultivated deposits.

In recent years, the oil company “Lukoil” has created a unique infrastructure of dispatch and transportation of hydrocarbon crude in the region of Varandey settlement (Nenets Autonomous Okrug). A seaport with the customs post was also built there.

The construction of the coastal infrastructure objects on the Yamal peninsula launched in 2012. The measures of the creation of corresponded infrastructure objects are stipulated by a complex plan on the development of liquefied natural gas on the Yamal peninsula, which was affirmed by the RF government Executive Order dated October 11, 2010 #1713-r.

The NSR development, including the providing with the safe sailing on its routes, assume the modernization of such Arctic ports as Khatanga, Tiksi, Pevek, Dudinka and Diksi as well as the creation of new port complexes and raid dispatch terminals in the settlements Kharasavey, Pechenga and Varandey.

The development of the Arctic region is impossible without the navigation and hydrographical NSR provision. A great deal was made in this direction.

Thus in 2003 on Oleniy Isle in the Kara Sea the first arctic monitoring and correction station of a space-based satellite navigation system GLONASS/GPS was put into operation. In 2009 two more stations were built in the Arctic, more exactly on the Sterligov Cape and in the mouth of Indigirka river; similar stations are being created on Stolobovoy, Andrey and Kamenka islands. The expansion of the monitoring and correction stations GLONAS/GPS on allthe traditional routs of the NSR by 2020.

The implementation of these plans will allow to use the station for accuracy increase which means sailing safety on the NSR for hydrographic, buoy and dredging works as well as for realization of pilotage including those in the mouths of Siberian rivers.

The building of 3 Arc-7 class survey vessels of 2000-3500 tons’ displacement, 3 Ice-3 buoy-lifting vessels of 135 tons’ displacement and 6 special surveying launches equipped with multibeam echosounders was stipulated in the subprogram “Maritime transport” of the Federal Target program “Development of Russian transportation system”.

Besides, the upgrading of 3 “Fyodor Matisen” and “Dmitry Ovtsyn” survey vessels of 1650 tons’ displacement.

In 2010 the State Hydrographic Enterprise implemented the route reconnaissance measurement of a new high latitude route northwards of Novosibirsk islands with the help of multibeam echosounder. Two sandbanks and their bypass paths were examined. The minimum depth measured on the examined route area is 18 m.

Russian authorities also intend to stimulate the development of oil and gas deposits in the Arctic shelf area by means of long term tax preferences. Thus, the conditions for the increase of project profitability and the mobilization of foreign investments are created.

The strategy of the Russian Federation Arctic region development, accepted in February 2013, admits the importance of oil and gas industry as the engine of economic development of the North. The example of Norway demonstrates that the transformation of the Barents Sea to a new producing province not only averted the population outflow from the northern regions, but also considerably developed the local industry. Nowadays Norway moves ahead of other polar countries in the oil and gas race, but Russia gradually gleans the experience in the northern maritime development. The Government intends to support the projects of “Gasprom” and “Rosneft” and prepared some changes to the acting Tax Code. Due to innovations, Government companies can recon on preferences and invariability of fiscal mode for a long period of time, that will favour the mobilization of foreign investments. However a serious upgrade of shipbuilding and rising of geological survey volume will be needed for the large scale hydrocarbon production.

The study of the Arctic region is not the least element of the region development. Here Russia also plays a key role.

In 2013 Russian scientists did a huge work. Thus, a state model of the Arctic region’s lithosphere on account of the problem of the Russian continental shelf’s outer boundaries expansion, presented to the UNO within the preparation our country’s request for the establishment of the Russian continental shelf’s outer boundaries in the Arctic Ocean 200 miles outside of the baselines. This model proves that the territory of the Central Arctic Rises, including the part of the Lomonosov Ridge, the Mendeleev Ridge and the Podvodnikov basin, which splits these two ridges, belongs to the continental margin of the Russian Federation’s land territory. This model was successfully tested at the international conference “The polar petroleum potential” (October 2013, Stavanger, Norway) and presented at the VII annual working meeting of the geological surveys’ representatives of Russia, Denmark, Canada, Norway and the USA in the end of 2013. Thus the international expert opinion about the scientific legitimacy of Russian request for the continental shelf’s boundaries in the Arctic started to take shape.

Russian scientists carry out a complex study of natural geological dangers on the shelves and the continental slopes of the Arctic and the World Ocean, threatening with emergency and catastrophic consequences while developing of oil and gas resources. Maritime geophysical companies, which possess voluminous archival seismic data, which allow to reveal, analyze and map the natural and anthropogenic objects in natural sediments, are required to work. The creation of the complex geophysical information system of dangerous natural phenomena is going at full speed and the methodological recommendations on the safe development of oil and gas deposits in arctic and subarctic conditions are developed.

In 2013 the information and methodological base for conducting of the soil temperature monitoring in the continental and marine areas of the Arctic was prepared in accordance with the international GTN-P standards.

During several years the creation of the developmental prototype of the new generation of the bottom seismic receiving stations with seismographs, which possess the extended frequency and dynamic range, which will serve as the main perspective technology of the environmental monitoring on the sea shelves of the Russian Federation Arctic region, is in progress. The automated stationary multi-touch cabling subsystem of the persistent control of 200 km and more underwater pipeline state is being developed. The innovation technology of the distant monitoring of ice cap destruction on arctic islands and the control of huge icebergs’ breakaway are tested. It was experimentally proved that the seismic-infrasound registration of low-energy ice quakes and the determination of the ice clearance place and time are possible in the conditions.

The technology of the “cascade” estimation and the synergism of the climate change’s consequences for nature, economy and population is developed. The model of the sanitary algae plantation (SAP) is developed. A new technology allows to prevent spreading of oil products on the water surface, increases their utilization and provides with the opportunity to keep and transport the SAP elements widely.

Russia has a quite powerful research-and-development fleet. Nowadays it possesses research-and-development ice class vessels to carry out complex research expeditions on studying of the Arctic environment, searching for hydrocarbons and other mineral products. They are used both as separate research platforms and as providing means for space and aviation observations. Recently lots of measuring methods and register devices were developed on the ice class vessels for observation the ice cover, the sea surface and depth as well as the near-water atmosphere level from the space and navigation carriers. The aims of these measurements were ecological researches, mineral products searches and radiological and chemical control of the Arctic region’s pollution.

To conduct regular research expeditions in the Arctic seas, four modern arctic research vessels of unrestricted navigation and tree ice guard vessels for near shore researches are planned to be built in the coming years. New Arctic research vessels (ARV) must have at least Arc-7 class of ice navigation. It will allow providing complex researches in difficult ice conditions at low temperatures in the high Arctic zone.

To conclude: The state, which possesses an access to the sea (especially to arctic ones), has absolute advantages as it obtains an access to the resources of the World Ocean and to sea routs. Russia has all necessary opportunities for resorting to these advantages.

The situation is a bit complicated by the lack of effective international safety modes in the Arctic, and by an active behaviour of out-of-area states which will support those who will offer the best conditions of the participation in arctic projects. But it is Russia that has an opportunity to undertake a leading role in forming and systematization of the whole “international relations’ arctic subsystem”, by using its authority, potential and competitive advantages.

The main Russian national interests in the Arctic are: using the Arctic as strategic resource base, providing the problem solution of social and economic country’s development; maintenance of the Arctic as peace and cooperation zone; preservation of unique ecological systems of the Arctic and use of the Northern sea route as unified national transport line.

To form a competitive transport system of the NSR which supplies a demand with due regard to requirements, the next points are necessary:

– taking measures on the providing with sailing safety: the improvement of legislation and the adoption of legal regulations on the Government’s side and the employment of transport technologies and the implementation of sailing rules and the accepted legal regulations on the transportation companies’ side;

– creation of acceptable conditions for transporters on the NSR, for example tariff regulations and insurance;

– strengthening of insurance companies, to unify them into insurance groups and to increase their level of capitalization;

– implementation of a large-scale transportation reform, which supposes transport facility re-equipment and implementation of the project of the oil and gas production and transportation to Eastern Asia;

– use of the APR countries’ interest in the NSR development.

As concerns the last point, it should be noted that the interests of northeastern countries in the Arctic are formed in three main spheres. Firstly, it’s a broadening of the climate change knowledge, which can help ration production and disaster preparedness. Secondly, it’s an access to the Arctic transport routes which will allow to diminish cargo delivery’s expenses during navigation. Thirdly, it’s cooperation with other countries on natural resources production, including fishery in Arctic seas.

China has already shown its interest in the Northern sea route development by Chinese shipping companies. Besides, Russia has an opportunity to attract Chinese mining companies to development of hydrocarbon resources of the Russian Arctic shelf. The other perspective direction of the Russian-Chinese Arctic cooperation can be mobilization of Chinese investments to the Arctic infrastructure development, the development of scarce ore mineral resources that are located within the Russian Federation Arctic zone and their export to the Asia Pacific region markets and the creation of eco-tourism centers in the North of Russia.

The interaction in the development and organization of ship movement on the Northern sea route gives comprehensive facilities for Russian-Japan cooperation. Several years ago Japanese companies finished a large-scaled research concerning the availability of its usage from the point of view of Japanese economic interests. According to the existing information, in 2013 education, culture, sport, science and technology ministries of Japan offered to launch a four years program of the Arctic ice condition study aimed to define opportunities to use the NSR for regular navigation in the short run.

In any event, Russia has a unique opportunity to use the Northern sea route for a full-scale resources development in the conditions of its own facilities shortage, and to resort to surplus finance, technological and other APR counties’ resources, attracting them to joint development of hydrocarbon deposits on the Russian Arctic shelf and to upgrade the existing international seaports and to build new ones.

Nowadays, the Arctic is becoming the most important factor of steady development of the Russian Federation. The real contribution of the Russian North to the economics will be defined by the scale and tempo of the development of a unique Arctic transport system.

Speaking of the development of the Russian Arctic transport system in XXI century, primarily of the Northern sea route, we mean firstly the maintenance of the NSR as unified national traffic artery and also its steady and safe operation in the regional and state economic interests and in transit, international, state and regional transportation and delivery of Northern goods. The priority of the Russian fleet protection as well as the promotion of Russian security in the Arctic is also implied.

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