When arriving in Amsterdam, presumably on September 11, the 19,000-ton vessel “Yong Sheng” will get its place in the history books as the first container-transporting vessel which made it transit along the Arctic shortcut between Asia and Europe. The vessel, operated by China’s state-controlled Cosco Group, left a Chinese port on August 8 and is currently on its way towards the eastern part of the Russian Arctic.
According to Cosco, Asian goods could in few years be transported through the northern passage in significant volumes, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The China Ocean Shipping(Group) Company, Cosco, is ranked the sixth largest container ship operator worldwide. The company, which is owned by the Chinese government, is also the biggest dry bulk shipping operator, as well as liner carrier, in China.
In addition to the ongoing NSR shipping operation, Cosco has got permission from the Russian Northern Sea Route Administration for another two sailings along the route. The company will be allowed to conduct independent sailing along the route in modest ice conditions, as well as to hire icebreaker assistance, newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports.
As previously reported, another of Cosco`s vessels, the “Hong Xing”, is currently also shipping along the NSR.
In 2012 the icebreaker “Xue Long” (Snow Dragon) became the first ever Chinese vessel to sail all along the Northern Sea Route into the Barents Sea. This trip has “greatly encouraged” Chinese shipping companies, said Huigen Yang, director general of the Polar Research Institute of China at a conference about the Arctic in Oslo in March.
The melting Arctic ice is quickly expanding the sailing season on the Arctic route. Russia`s biggest shipping company, the Sovcomflot, is already offering clients shipping along the route for up to six months of the year.
Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Northern Fleet’s “Admiral Kuznetsov”, has finished repairs and is ready to leave the port of Murmansk. According to a Russian news agency, the vessel will sail to Syria.
A century and a half ago, Norway was home to roughly three thousand brown bears, the majority of bears in all of Scandinavia. By 1930, the bears were virtually extinct. Decades of aggressive management tactics and bounties had wiped out one of the area’s most iconic species.
Microplastics, the tiny plastic particles that are accumulating in marine waters and big lakes around the world, are now showing up in the Arctic waters south and southwest of Svalbard, Norway, a new study says.
REYKJAVIK: The climatic changes taking place in the Arctic are a call to action for the world. We must answer with more international cooperation and more research, says Tore Hattrem, State Secretary of Norway’s Foreign Ministry.
“Partnership should and shall shape the development of the Arctic, therefore cooperation is the starting point for our Arctic policy,” Vladimir Barbin, Senior Arctic Official and representative to the Arctic Council, said at the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.
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.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Brende has asked Russia for an explanation to the high number of asylum seekers coming to Norway via Russia. Syrian refugees that have lived in Russia for a long time, will be stopped on the border and sent back.