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Northern Sea Route infrastructure requires private, state, foreign investments — expert

February 16, 2017, 17:39 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK

The Northern Sea Route is the main sea route in the Russian Arctic

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© Lev Fedoseev/TASS

VLADIVOSTOK, February 16. /TASS/. Modernization of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) infrastructures requires participation both of the state and companies, involved in development of the Arctic zone’s resources, Academician Matvey Romanov told TASS on Thursday, adding investments from other countries are also reasonable.

"The typical approach is that Russian business structures are most willing to participate in projects with high and quick money return, while the project of NSR is rather big and will take much time and assets," the expert, representing the Pacific Institute of Geography at the Far East Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said. "Thus, in order to organize promptly full-fledged and competitive work of the Northern Sea Route, in the conditions of major competition of the emerging New Silk Road, the money from only the involved companies, developing hydrocarbon, metal and other resources in the Arctic zone, in our opinion, would be insufficient."

Thus, the scientist continued, it is necessary to have administrative stimulation or to involve in the NSR some different companies. Participation of the state is necessary for organization of the work, and to provide state interests in the sphere of national security, in offering favorable conditions of doing business in the Arctic shore area, as well as for organization of work in the social sphere.

"Besides, it is reasonable to involve actively foreign investors," he said. "This is important both for implementation of the NSR project within short time at a good-quality level, and both for improvement of the international relations in that part of the world on bilateral, multilateral bases."

"In active use of NSR are interested Japan, South Korea, China," he said. "The Japanese, for example, intend using the Northern Sea Route and may transport up to 40% of their cargo, which now they ship to Europe across the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal."

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.

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