Russia’s Northern Sea Route is completely ice-free and shipping thrives

Photo: Sovcomflot

 

Large numbers of ships exploit new route between Europe and Asia

Data from Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute shows that the country’s entire Northern Sea Route now is ice-free, according to a report in the Independent Barents Observer.

The Norway-based publication says shipping has been smooth and easy this summer even in the usually ice-covered waters between the Kara Sea and the Bering Strait. Russia’s Northern Sea Route Administration says there were a total of 94 ships operating along the route on September 4. The tally does not include military vessels.

Most of the ships are concentrated around the Yamal Peninsula where Russia’s Novatek and Gazprom Neft have their huge Yamal LNG and Novy Port projects. South Korean and Chinese ships are reportedly eyeing use of what may become a major global trade route that bypasses the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal.

Full article: Russia’s Northern Sea Route is completely ice-free and shipping thrives (Asia Times)

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