Perspectives of the Northern Sea Route

Lead Author Ilya, Stepanov
Institution Contact National Research University Higher School of Economics
Co-Authors Ilya Stepanov, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.2 Resource development and building capacity in Arctic communities
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text In political and economic debate of the last decade the Northern Sea Route (NSR) has gained a lot of attention and is considered to be a promising initiative of the coming decades. Officials of various states and international companies stick more attention to the Arctic capable to bring new resource and transit opportunities for intensifying world economy.
The development of Russian Arctic will be closely tied to the redevelopment of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) which is considered to be both strategic project for Arctic and non-Arctic states as well as commercial opportunity for international cargo transports.
Russia see particular gains not only in development the NSR as a transit route bridging Asia and Europe but in integrating its northern regions rich in mineral resources into the world economy as well as in fostering the development of Siberia and the Far East. This research focuses on the main factors helping and hindering the development of the Arctic transit and resource potential and attempts to build some projections for the future.
It is revealed that the NSR is commercially viable only for transportation of some types of cargo – primarily for bulk cargos in warmer months from and to ports located not far from the NSR. In the long term the effectiveness of the NSR can increase under certain conditions such as further ice melting in the Arctic, development of Russian Arctic regions and, in particular, development of the infrastructure along the NSR, oil price growth, and increasing political and other risks along the traditional trade routes between Europe and Asia. On the contrary, the slowdown in Asia-European trade and the suspension of a number of oil & gas projects on the Russian Arctic shelf worsen to some extent the NSR position at the present day.