Meeting with President Vladimir Putin this week, Sovcomflot leader Sergey Frank confirmed that his company is rapidly extending shipping along the Arctic sea route connecting Europe and Asia. According to the company leader, year-round shipping along the western part of the route, to the Yamal Peninsula, is already operational, while transshipments along the whole route can be made for up to six months of the year.
"The Northern Sea Route is coming to life as we speak," Mr. Frank told Putin.
The waters between the New Siberian Islands and the Wrangle island remain the most ice-covered and complicated part of the route, Frank told the president, a press release from the Kremlin reads.
As previously reported, the extent of sea ice along the route is below average and vessels are sailing parts of the route without icebreaker escort. A total of 270 vessels have so far this year received permits to sail along the Northern Sea Route, a fivefold increase from 2012.
According to Mr. Frank, Sovcomflot this year sent the first vessel along the NSR two weeks earlier than in 2012.
For Sovcomflot, Russian Arctic energy projects now increasingly constute a growth driver. In previous years, the company has served mostly foreign clients.
As displayed in BarentsObserver’s interactive visualization, a total of 46 vessels in 2012 sailed transit along the NSR. Five years ago, the number was zero. In 2009, two ships, the "Beluga Fraternity" and "Beluga Foresight", made the trans-continental journey. Then, in 2011, the shipments picked pace with as many as 41 vessels.
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.