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25.09.2011
Putin sees bright future for Arctic transport
In his speech at the second International Arctic Forum Putin pointed out that the forum itself is moving to the North. The first event was held in Moscow, and now it is hosted by Arkhangelsk, which is called "the gateway to the Arctic" and closely connected to the Northern Sea Route. Putin sees a great potential in this transport route in the years to come:

- It is our intention to turn the Northern Sea Route into a key transport route of global importance. We believe that NSR has a bright future as an international transport artery capable of being a competitor to more traditional routes, both when it comes to price, safety and quality.

To reach this goal, Russia is taking several measures. Safety and communication along the NSR is being improved by the building of ten new bases for search, rescue and communication, and a new Law on the Northern Sea Route is in the pipeline. A bill has been introduced to the State Duma and will probably be accepted by the end of October. The law will clarify that tariffs for icebreaker assistance on the route will be regulated by the Federal Tariff Service.

Putin believes that transport projects – establishment of new shipping and air traffic routes – can serve as a lever for uniting the Arctic states:

- Through this [establishment of new transport routes] we will not only achieve real profit but also create universal mechanisms for cooperation, the Prime Minister said. – Transport is what connects the Arctic states, he added. Among the measures Russia has taken in order to develop Arctic transport Putin mentioned plans for new icebreakers, development of infrastructure along the NSR and the upcoming Law on the Northern Sea Route.

Russia’s fleet of icebreakers is getting out-of-date and the country could be left without icebreakers by 2016. Russia’s three-year budget includes RUB 20 billion for the construction of a new nuclear-powered icebreaker. Funds have also been allocated for the construction of three shallow-draft diesel-powered icebreakers which, because they are part of a newer and more advanced class, will be able to replace five old vessels.
Источник:

barentsobserver.com

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