MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. Russia seeks to deepen cooperation with other states in the development and use of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Wednesday.
"We are interested in deepening cooperation with other states on the use of the NSR," she noted. "The task of the international public council of the NSR created under the auspices of [Russian nuclear state corporation] Rosatom is to attract big business for the development of the infrastructure of this transport corridor. Representatives of all Arctic states have been invited to join this council. The NSR is the Russian national transport corridor. In full compliance with international law, Russia, as a coastal state, is responsible for the route’s functioning and will do everything necessary to ensure the safety of navigation and the most careful attitude to the very fragile ecosystem of the region," she said.
The spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry drew attention to a number of statements made in recent days, "the key note of which was concern for the environmental situation in the Arctic in the context of the use of the NSR."
"There were a lot of news reports on this subject with the participation of officials. The French President also spoke out. In particular, he spoke about the desire or importance to protect the Russian North from topogenous influence and called on French freight companies, many of which are among the largest sea carriers in the world, do not use the NSR. "
Nevertheless, the diplomat continued, Russia "is aimed at developing the NSR."
"The task was set to ensure its year-round use by 2021, increase freight traffic up to 80 million tonnes per year," she stated.
"Russia has unique experience in organizing smooth operation in high latitudes. Our country plans to further develop port infrastructure, navigation, hydrographic the capabilities of this transport corridor and improve the search and rescue system," she said.
"The prospects for the NSR are obvious. This is the optimal distance for the Europe-Asia route, the lack of limitations of traffic capacity, as compared with the Suez Canal and the relative safety of navigation. Every year, the demand for this route and this way of shipments is growing, given the increasing activity of gas and oil companies in the Arctic region, in particular on the Yamal Peninsula," Zakharova concluded.
The Northern Sea Route is the main marine communication in the Russian Arctic zone. It goes along Russia’s northern shores of the Arctic Ocean’s seas. NSR is a transport system, which unites Russia’s European and Far Eastern ports and Siberian rivers. The distance between the Kara Gates and the Providence Bay is 5,600km.