Russia to install naval facilities in the Arctic

Russia plans to give naval personnel and their vessels better infrastucture in the Arctic. Smokediver from "Admiral Chabanenko". Photo: Trude Pettersen.

Russia plans to install naval infrastructure along the Northern Sea Route to service its warships and border guard vessels, says Security Souncil head Nikolay Patrushev.


Russia has drafted a list of key double-purpose sites along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) where naval vessels and border guard vessels can be temporarily stationed, Patrushev said on Monday, according to RIA Novosti.

Russia has high hopes for the future of the NSR and has announced that nearly €23.4 million will be invested in development of ten emergency and rescue centers from Murmansk in the West to Chukotka in the East, as BarentsObserver reported. The planned naval stations will probably be co-located with these centers. 

Patrushev admits that work on the establishment of the emergency centers has been slow. “We had planned to establish an exploratory group, carry out work trips along the Northern Sea Route and prepare a relevant legal basis. However, a lot has not been done”.  

The first rescue center is supposed to open in the port of Dudinka in August 2012, the next one in Murmansk in 2013. All ten centers should be in place by 2015 and a total of 980 persons are planned to be working at the centers. 

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.