MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. The cargo transit along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) will grow from 9.93 million tonnes in 2017 to 12-14 million tonnes in 2018, Deputy Head of the federal authority on sea and river transport (Rosmorrechflot) Yuri Kostin said on sidelines of an international conference on the Arctic transport and logistics.
On March 1, 2018, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in an address to the Federal Assembly said the Northern Sea Route would be a "key to development of the Russian Arctic and the Far East." According to the president, Russia faces the task of making it "a truly global, competitive transport line" and the cargo flow along it should grow to 80 million tonnes a year by 2025.
"I would forecast the cargo flow in 2018 along NSR at 12-14 million tonnes," the federal agency’s official told TASS. "We can see the growth of almost 200% now: during the first quarter last year it was about 1.3 million tonnes, and now - 2.5 million tonnes."
"[Accurate] forecasts quote the growth to 12-14 million tonnes, but most likely it would be even bigger," he said, adding in 2017 the cargo transit along the Northern Sea Route was 9.93 million tonnes, in 2016 - 7.48 million tonnes.
"Last year (2017), the Northern Sea Route’s Administration issued more than 660 licenses for cargo transit along NSR," he continued. "The main cargos are minerals, food and fuel to local settlements, and transit shipments."
The Northern Sea Route is the main sea artery in Arctic Russia. It goes across the Arctic Ocean’s seas (Barents, Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, Chukchi and Bering), unites Europe’s and the Russian Far East’s ports and Siberian rivers. The navigation season is 2-4 months, but icebreakers make the navigation year-round.