Russia has high hopes for the future of the northern Sea Route and invests nearly €23.4 million in development of ten centers from Murmansk in the West to Chukotka in the East.
A total of 980 persons will be working at the centers. Projects for the centers have already been prepared and construction is planned to be finished by 2015. The first one, to be established in Dudinka, will open in August 2012, Arcticuniverse writes.
Three of the centers will be located on Chukotka and Anadyr, the other seven in Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Naryan-Mar, Vorkuta, Nadym, Dudinka and Tiksi. A total of 980 persons will be working at the centers.
“It is our intention to turn the Northern Sea Route into a key transport route of global importance”, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at the second International Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk in September 2011. “We believe that NSR has a bright future as an international transport artery capable of being a competitor to more traditional routes, both when it comes to price, safety and quality”.
Cargo transport through the Northern Sea Route is expected to skyrocket in course of the next decade. While a total of 820,000 tons of goods was shipped along the Northern Sea Route in 2011, the volumes are expected to almost double in 2012.
The main challenges for a more extended use of the sea route are the need for new icebreakers and the lack of infrastructure, first of all instruments for navigation and communication and bases for search and rescue services.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
The current situation in Ukraine makes cross-border cooperation with the neighboring countries even more important, Barents Secretariat leader Rune Rafaelsen says. At the same time, Norway has joined NATO’s condemnation of Russia’s military escalation on the Crimea peninsula.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.