Business programme

The Northern Sea Route: An International Transport Corridor

16 Jun , 11:00–12:15
The New Economic Order: Responding to the Challenges of the Time

The Northern Sea Route (NSR) is the most important transport route that links the vast expanses of Russia’s Arctic territories, and it is also a natural transport corridor between Asia and Europe. The development of the NSR could become a comprehensive solution to several economic, demographic, social, and political challenges facing Russia’s northern regions and the country as a whole. At the same time, however, the NSR faces numerous objective obstacles, from severe weather to the lack of essential technologies and experience. The Russian president has set the goal of ensuring the year-round use of the NSR as a transport corridor of global importance. Given the pressure from sanctions and the destruction of existing logistics and cooperative ties, the NSR could offer a new window of opportunity for the development of Russian territories and also strengthen partnerships with friendly countries. Starting from 2022, vessels are scheduled to make at least two subsidized coastal round trips from St. Petersburg (Murmansk) to the ports of the Far East. Establishing preferential tariffs that make it possible to compete with the relevant tariffs for other modes of transport will make the transportation of goods via the NSR economically viable and popular among shippers, which will also help solve problems related to the shipment of goods in the north and create an image of the NSR as a reliable transport artery. Based on the test operation of the coastal line in 2022–2024, Russia plans to switch to a regular line with more frequent trips and increase the number of ports that are involved in the NSR. What impact does the NSR have on the economy of the Russian Arctic? Given the new geopolitical and economic circumstances, is it realistic to achieve the goal of transporting 80 million tonnes of cargo via the NSR by the end of 2024? What is needed to ensure year-round and safe navigation?