The office in Arkhangelsk will handle practical tasks connected to traffic on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) – applications to use the route, coordination with the Agency on Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, use of Arctic aviation and so on. The office in Moscow, on the other hand, will handle all documentation connected to NSR.
“All the legal framework has already been worked out and we have had several consultations with the Ministry of Transport. We have reached an understanding that one office in Arkhangelsk will be too little, and have agreed to open two offices in Arkhangelsk and Moscow”, Governor of Arkahangelsk Igor Orlov said at the international forum “The Arctic – present and future” in St. Petersburg last week, Interfax reports.
According to Orlov, the office will open in Arkhangelsk already in January 2013.
Earlier Special Presidential Aide on Arctic and Antarctic Affairs Artur Chilingarov has said that Arkhangelsk is considered as a possible location for the administration of the NSR.
There is still no official decision on where the administration office will be located. According to Deputy Minister of Transport Sergey Aristov several Russian regions are interested in hosting the office, RIA Novosti writes.
The Russian State Duma adopted a Law on the Northern Sea Route in July 2012. The law will enter into force from January 2013, and it is expected that the administration offices should be ready to start their work at the same time.
The 2012 navigation season on the NSR gave new records both concerning the number of vessels and the amount of cargo. 46 vessels sailed the route, compared to 34 in 2011 and only four in 2010. The total cargo transported on the NSR this year was 1 261 545 tons – a 53 percent increase from 2011, when 820 789 tons was shipped on the route, as BarentsObserver reported.
The Barents Region has some of the last largest areas of intact natural woodlands in Europe. Scientists, bureaucrats and environmentalists from all four Barents countries cooperate on preserving the forest, but an international initiative is needed.
August 9th, the Barents Region celebrated the UN International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. The day was commemorated in several parts of the region, including Karasjok in Northern Norway and Teriberka in Northwestern Russia.