Tags: Russia | melting | arctic | ice | russia | control | northern sea route

Russian Ships Move to Gain Control Over Melting Arctic

Russian Ships Move to Gain Control Over Melting Arctic
Russian President Vladimir Putin visits an ice cavern on Alexandra Land Island in the remote Arctic islands of Franz Josef Land. (ALEXEY DRUZHININ/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 09 September 2018 10:29 AM

Russian ships are taking advantage of smoother transit through routes in the Northern Sea because of increased ice melt attributed to global warming, The Washington Post reported.

"The Northern Sea Route, because of its location along the shallow seas of Siberia, is free of ice earlier and stays free longer than other areas of the Arctic," the Post reported.

That benefits Russia, which controls an exclusive economic zone where "vessels seeking passage must apply for permits and permissions from Russia’s Northern Sea Route Administration," according to the Post, and "Russians also charge fees for navigation and ice-breaking assistance."

Passage through the Russia-controlled Northern Sea from South Korea to Germany reportedly takes just 23 days, which pales in comparison to the route via South Africa (46 days) and Suez Canal (34 days).

"Imagine a time in the not-so-distant future when ice ceases to be the limiting factor," UCLA geography professor Laurence C. Smith told the Post.

Russia has capitalized economically, including transporting its first shipment of liquefied gas from a $27 billion Arctic Circle production facility in July in just 19 days, which the Post reported cut 16 days off the trip via the Suez Canal.

"The lifeblood of container shipping is timing," Arctic Institute founder Malte Humpert told the Post. "You book a spot at a port terminal hour by hour. . . . In the Arctic, you can't set your watch by your transit."

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Russian ships are taking advantage of smoother transit through routes in the Northern Sea because of increased ice melt attributed to global warming, The Washington Post reported."The Northern Sea Route, because of its location along the shallow seas of Siberia, is free of...
melting, arctic, ice, russia, control, northern sea route
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2018-29-09
Sunday, 09 September 2018 10:29 AM
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