Russia to set up Northern Sea Route agency

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A convoy of tankers sails in the wake of a nuclear-powered icebreaker on Russia's Northern Sea Route. (Getty)
A convoy of tankers sails in the wake of a nuclear-powered icebreaker on Russia’s Northern Sea Route. (Getty)

A specialized organization for the development of the Northern Sea Route will be set up in Russia, according to Alexander Galushka, minister for the Development of the Russian Far East.

This is reported by the Russian website Arctic.ru.

“Measures aimed at developing the Northern Sea Route have been included in Russian state programs, and a specialized organization will be put in charge of its administration and development,” TASS news agency quoted Galushka as saying after a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang earlier this summer.

The minister has not yet specified when the new agency will be created, nor where the headquarters would be.

One of the main goals of the planned setup is to improve the quality of cooperation with Chinese companies, and to increase the number of vessels sailing through the Northern Sea Route during the navigation season, Galushka said at the meeting.

“At present, an optimal logistics plan for a regular Arctic container shipping line has been worked out, which includes two port hubs, in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Murmansk. What makes this route unique is that it saves shippers from Northeast Asia to Europe up to nine days at a virtually identical cost, compared to routes through the Suez and Panama canals,” the ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East said in a statement on June 30.