China is accelerating its pace in Arctic exploration by publishing its first guide to sailing through the Northern Sea Route.

Greenpeace’s vessel «Arctic Sunrise» has been released after nearly nine months of detention in Murmansk, following the organization’s demonstration against Arctic drilling in the Pechora Sea last fall.

Traditionally a forum for Arctic science and low-tension political questions, the Arctic Council plans to change as the Arctic itself is rapidly changing. Ministers meet in May.

First Chinese attempt to traverse the Northern Sea Route will take place this summer. It will be the first time ever a Chinese icebreaker sails into the Barents Sea.

The world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker “50 years of Victory” is ready to take you to the North Pole.

“Arktika”, the first surface ship in the world to reach the North Pole, could be made into a museum in St.Petersburg. The icebreaker reached the North Pole 35 years ago, on August 17, 1977.

Climate change and environmental safety in exploitation of natural resources are issues up for discussion when 300 experts meet in Salekhard next month for the Third International Arctic Forum.

All non-Russian transits of oil-products along the Northern Sea Route so far this season are jet-fuel from Yeosu refinery in Asia to Porvoo port east of Helsinki.

Rescue capacities on Svalbard will double when new Super Puma all-weather helicopters are based on the Arctic archipelago in 2014.

Russia is increasing its presence on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. In course of the last two years the number of inhabitants in the Russian settlement of Barentsburg has gone up with more than 27 percent.

The harbor in Longyearbyen will become better prepared for the expected shipping boom.

World Wildlife Fund has launched a web-based map showing natural resources and updated overviews of activities like shipping or oil drilling in the Arctic.

ARKHANGELSK: A group of Norwegian, Russian researchers, business people and officials sail out from the White Sea Tuesday towards the Northern Sea Route to mark the anniversary of the August 1913 expedition of Fridtjof Nansen to Siberia.

SALEKHARD: The participants in the 3rd International Arctic Forum were met by this year’s first blizzard when they arrived in Salekhard today. Scientists, politicians and decision makers from all Arctic countries have gathered in the town on the Arctic Circle.

State investigators have asked St.Petersburg courts to extend the detention of the so-called “Arctic 30” for further three months.