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VLADIVOSTOK, February 15. /TASS/. The importance of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) for Russia will be growing with further development of strategically important resources like oil, gas, ferrous and non-ferrous metals and diamonds in the Arctic zone. This is the main route to resources in the North, in the northern parts of Siberia and the Far East, Head of the Far East University’s Department of Geography and Sustainable Development of Geosystems Petr Baklanov told TASS on Wednesday.
"For Russia, NSR to the biggest extent is the only and economically reasonable route to resources of the North, of the northern territories of Siberia and the Far East, where the deposits, experts say, may become in the XXI century the globe’s main source of raw materials," he said. "With development of strategically important deposits, the importance of NSR will be only growing."
As of now, the NSR is used by mostly big Russian companies involved in the Arctic projects and in serving ports in the Arctic and on the Siberian rivers. The main users are now Norilsk Nickel, Gazprom, Lukoil, Rosneft, Rosshelf, the Krasnoyarsk territory, Yakutia and Chukotka. The Northern Sea Route is no less important for the Russian national security, for economic life of the people living in the North and along the Arctic shores, for the providing social development of the people living there.
"The Northern Sea Route’s economic importance is also big for foreign countries," the scientist continued. "Japan, for example, is ready to participate in its development, in organization of necessary infrastructures."
"NSR is interesting for foreigners both for transportation of own cargoes from the Asia-Pacific Region, from the US, Europe and back, as well as for receiving mineral resources from the Russian Arctic regions," he said.
Transit routes via the Northern Sea Route are attractive for European and Asia-Pacific countries as they may save fuel, time and cost of personnel, freight, he said, adding more attractive factors are no fee for vessel passage, no waiting in lines.
The Northern Sea Route - is the main sea route in the Russian Arctic. The Russian Ministry of Transport forecasts cargo turnover along the Northern Sea Route by 2020 will grow tenfold to 65 million tons per year. The route crosses seas of the Arctic Ocean (Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukotka) and partially the Pacific Ocean (the Bering Sea). The Northern Sea Route from the Kara Gate to the Providence Bay is about 5,600 km long. The distance between Saint Petersburg to Vladivostok along the Northern Sea Route is more than 14,000 km, while the distance vessels cover by the Suez Canal is more than 23,000 km.