MOSCOW – Russia is trying to stimulate peaceful cooperation with the countries of the Arctic region while striving to develop the North Sea Route project.
The 4th edition of the International Arctic Forum will be held this week in the Russian city of St. Petersburg and will be attended by the leaders of Russia, Finland and Iceland and the prime ministers of Norway and Sweden.
The transfer by sea is currently considered the cheapest and most advantageous, which is why demand always exceeds supply.
By 2024 freight transport on the Northern Sea Route is expected to increase by 80 million tonnes.
Currently, at least 10% of the sea freight is carried through the so-called “narrow gorge” of the Suez Canal.
According to Russian journalist Dmitry Lekukh, logistics companies are forced to wait in line for almost a month to pass through this area.
“It is very difficult to overestimate the emergence of an alternative route of annual shipping by the North Sea Route. In addition, there are no political risks in the North unlike conflicts in the Middle East, piracy in the Gulf of Aden and many other problems,” Lekukh emphasizes in his article .
He points out that Russia’s partners on the other side of the ocean treat the North Sea Route very negatively, since full openness would compromise US control of world trade through shipping logistics.
“The North Sea Route is a coup against Washington’s most valuable asset: its own portfolio, and Washington cannot forgive this. This is not even the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which is unpleasant for a segment of the American economy, but that is not mortal,” writes the columnist.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterates the need to provide security to the Arctic region because the Russian nation is facing great resistance in developing such projects.
“The Arctic is a prize, not an existential threat, and any conflict, even a local one, is completely useless in this region.” The current head of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Dmitry Kobylkin, said: “A ruble invested in Arctic projects attracts another 15 rubles, which is a good proportion,'”he points out.
Russian diplomat Nikolai Korchunov stressed that Russia is following an open and gradual policy of international cooperation in the Arctic.
The diplomat noted that Moscow welcomes other countries in the Arctic, whose policy does not involve drawing dividing lines in the region.