MOSCOW, April 10. /TASS/. The Ministry of Economic Development is prepared to manage work of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) if ordered, Deputy Minister Alexander Tsybulsky told TASS on Monday.
"The ministry is ready to undertake this work, to organize this form of managing the Northern Sea Route," he said. "We are waiting for an order, and whenever it is made, we shall do the work."
The official added this form of management is at the stage of discussions now.
He also said, the date the state program for development of the Arctic is still unknown.
"We have presented the program to the government, and we are awaiting the government’s opinion on the form (it will be adopted - TASS)," the deputy minister said. "If in the form in which we have presented it, then it is ready for adoption. If it is to be changed or verified somehow, then it would take more time."
"It is unclear as yet, how much time it may take," he added.
Earlier, the president’s envoy on natural preservation, ecology and transport Sergei Ivanov told TASS the work of the Northern Sea Route should be coordinated from two centers in the Arctic: one in the western sector, and the other in the eastern sector. He said, anyway all the work should be coordinated by the Ministry of Transport. President Vladimir Putin told the recent Arctic: Territory of Dialogue forum said the government would consider having a separate authority, which would be responsible for development of the Northern Sea Route.
The main direction of the Northern Sea Route’s development is related to transportation of mineral resources and depends directly from implementation of investment projects (Varandei, Yamal LNG, Novyi Port, Dudinka, Norilsk - the total of 15 continuing and future projects, eleven of them are in oil and gas production and four - in ore and coal extraction). Transit soon and in mid-term would be an additional bonus, and its role in the NSR’s cargo flow would be of a minor importance.
In the waters of the Northern Sea Route work four line icebreakers, four of them are nuclear (The 50 Let Pobedy, Yamal, Taimyr and Vaichag), and the other four are diesel-electric (The Admiral Makarov, Krasin, Kapitan Khlebnikov and Kapitan Dranitsyn). The major projects for development of the port infrastructures in the Arctic zone are related to development of Yamal’s oil and gas deposits: those are projects on construction of the Sabetta seaport, of an oil terminal and on complex development of the Murmansk transport hub. These projects are the Arctic region’s focal points for growth. The total of 7.5 million tonnes of cargo were transported along the Northern Sea Route in 2016.