Tuesday, June 23, 2020

"Putin's grand plan for Arctic shipping might wreck in Barents Sea"

From The Barents Observer:
Government turns down a proposed territorial extension of the Northern Sea Route. The President's ambitious target for Arctic shipping is unlikely to be reached unless the Barents Sea is included, route developers argue.
The Northern Sea Route (NSR) was again on the agenda as Russia’s Arctic Commission last week convened to discuss key developments in the country’s North. The development of the shipping route has been top priority in the country ever since President Putin included it in his so-called May Decrees in 2018.

Putin wants annual shipments on the far northern connection between Europe and Asia to reach 80 million by year 2024 and government officials have now for two years grappled with the task.
In 2017, a total of 10,7 million tons were transported on the route. In 2018, the volume increased to 20,18 million tons and in 2019 to 31,5 million.

But despite plans for a number of major new industrial projects across the region, the road towards 80 million tons is still very long and difficult.
The Northern Sea Route covers the waters between archipelago Novaya Zemlya and the Bering Strait

No route extension
In an ingenious bid to inflate volumes, several government representatives have recently proposed to extend the range of the Northern Sea Route to the Barents Sea. If including the seaports of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk in the NSR, the 80 million ton limit would easily be within reach, they argue.
However, the participants in last week’s Arctic Commission meeting decided otherwise....

May 2020 
Putin Wants to Haul More Fish Along the Northern Sea Route
January 2020 
"Moscow adopts 15-year grand plan for Northern Sea Route"
November 2019
Shipping on Northern Sea Route up 63 percent, Putin Smiles 
January 2019 
Ministry hints Putin’s Arctic ambitions are not realistic
October 2018
"New state commission takes on Putin’s big plan for the Arctic"
May 2018
"It’s an order from the Kremlin: shipping on Northern Sea Route to reach 80 million tons by 2024" March 29, 2018
Russian navy’s Arctic patrol vessels suffer delays of 3-4 years

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....