Saturday, January 26, 2019

Ministry hints Putin’s Arctic ambitions are not realistic

Re-using an introduction from March 2018:
President Putin almost looks upon the Arctic as his pet project, a really large pet project but his, and the fact the government budget can't come up with the loot to pay for the ships is an intriguing insight into Russia's true financial state. I guess even the Autocrat of all the Russias President of Russia has limits.
From the Barents Observer:
There is unease in several Russian government ministries as officials start to understand that the President’s objectives for the Northern Sea Route can not be reached. The only way to please the president might be to expand the sea route itself.

Vladimir Putin has made shipping on the Northern Sea Route a key priority in his presidency. According to the President, annual goods volumes shipped along the Arctic route is to increase to as much as 80 million tons by year 2024.

It is one of the many objectives included in Putin’s so-called May Decrees announced after his re-election victory in 2018. Government ministers and state officials all fret about the objectives, which ultimately could be decisive for the fate of their further careers.

In the Ministry of Natural Resources there is now increasing concern that the President’s 80 million tons target for the Northern Sea Route simply can not be achieved. According to Ministry estimates, the maximum possible volumes on the route by year 2024 is 52 million tons.

The figure was presented by the Ministry in a presentation made late December 2018, RBC reports. The newspaper has got a copy of the presentation, which shows that estimated shipping on the route in 2024 will include up to 40 million tons of LNG, 9,2 million tons of oil and gas condensate and 3,2 of ores from Norilsk Nickel....MORE
Aug 5, 2007
Russia and the Arctic
RUSSIA’s foray into the Arctic is an audacious geopolitical adventure, as popular at home as it is troubling for outsiders. At stake are the region’s natural riches, until now frozen both in law and in nature. But global warming is making them look more accessible. They may include 10 billion tonnes of oil and gas deposits, tin, manganese, gold, nickel, lead, platinum and diamonds, plus fish and perhaps even lucrative freight routes. Exploiting them will be technically tricky, and is probably decades away. But as the ice melts, the row is hotting up about who owns what’s underneath it.

...Even more startling, though, was Russia’s rhetoric. “The Arctic is ours and we should manifest our presence,” said Mr Chilingarov, a charismatic figure whom President Vladimir Putin has named as “presidential envoy” to the Arctic. “This is like placing a flag on the moon” said Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Institute.  
The stunt has no legal force. But it still scandalised Canada’s foreign minister, Peter MacKay. “This isn’t the 15th century,” he complained. “You can’t go around the world and just plant flags and say ‘We’re claiming this territory’.”...From the Economist
 May 2018
"It’s an order from the Kremlin: shipping on Northern Sea Route to reach 80 million tons by 2024"
July 2018
The monster-icebreaker that might reshape Arctic shipping
Oct. 2018
"New state commission takes on Putin’s big plan for the Arctic"