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Development of Northern Sea Route will bring Russia trillions of dollars, says minister

The minister noted that the implementation of the plan provides for the creation of a port and railway infrastructure for the delivery of goods to the NSR

ST. PETERSBURG, December 8. /TASS/. The implementation of the plan for the development of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), which is designed until 2035 and provides for investments of 1.8 trillion rubles ($28.6 bln), will ensure Russia's export prosperity for decades to come under sanctions.

Alexey Chekunkov, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic, shared this opinion at the 12th International Forum "The Arctic: Present and Future" in St. Petersburg.

"This is a plan to ensure the export of those products that the world market needs, which the Russian Federation will produce in the coming decades, and which is estimated at trillions of dollars. This is a plan to ensure the well-being of Russia for decades to come," Chekunkov said, adding that the plan contains specific projects, which ensure utilization of the NSR.

Such projects include production of liquefied natural gas and oil production in the Arctic.

"We have concluded binding agreements, which clearly state when and what kind of cargo base the business will provide, what capacities for icebreaking assistance and support should be provided by Rosatom, what state investments should be provided by all executive authorities," Chekunkov added.

The minister noted that the implementation of the plan provides for the creation of a port and railway infrastructure for the delivery of goods to the NSR.

He recalled that currently there is heavy rail traffic on the route from west to east along the Trans-Siberian railway. Due to this, according to his estimates, the volume of unfulfilled applications for cargo transportation is about 100 million tons of cargo per year.

"The ability to pull these cargoes north, northwest and then ship them along the NSR, since the Northern Sea Route provides an additional 100 million tons, and 200 million tons of throughput by 2030, may become an alternative," Chekunkov said.

According to the presentation, within the framework of the development plan of the Northern Sea Route, it is planned to build 12 and upgrade two port terminals, laying the Northern Latitudinal Railway-1. The total volume of investments from various sources for these purposes will amount to 792 billion rubles ($12.6 bln), he said.

The Northern Sea Route is the shortest water route between Russia's European part and the Far East. The route from the Kara Gate to Providence Bay is about 5,600 km long. It lies within the Russian territorial waters and within its exclusive economic zone, which is specifically important in the conditions of disrupted logistics supply chains due to external sanctions.

The 12th international forum Arctic: Present and Future is running in St. Petersburg on December 8 and 9. In 2022, Russia marks the 90th anniversary of the Northern Sea Route, the 85th anniversary of the world's first drifting scientific station, North Pole-1, and the 15th anniversary of the high-latitude Arctic deep-water expedition (2007). Special activities on the forum's agenda will be devoted to these events. The forum's organizer is the Association of Polar Explorers, supported by the Federation Council, the State Duma, the Ministry for Development of the Far East and Arctic, the Foreign Ministry and other authorities. Nornickel is the event's general partner. TASS is the general information partner.