Russia to commence year-round voyages from Arctic to Asia

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Russia is set to begin year-round voyages from the Arctic to Asia along the eastern section of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) starting in 2024. This development has significant implications for global seaborne trade. The decision, made in collaboration with Novatek, aims to launch year-round navigation in the eastern part of the NSR, marking a historic milestone for the Arctic’s development and the Russian economy. Novatek has been developing LNG plants in the Arctic to cater to Asian customers. The shrinking Arctic sea ice has opened up shipping channels, allowing vessels to bypass the Panama and Suez Canals. The Russian government, led by Vladimir Putin, has made substantial investments in developing ports, bunkering facilities, and icebreakers to enhance maritime traffic in the region. Researchers predict a significant increase in Arctic shipping in the coming decades, providing more resilient trade routes. China has been actively pursuing its ambitions to utilize the Northern Sea Route for shipping goods to Europe. Various non-governmental organizations have been advocating for reduced carbon emissions in Arctic shipping at the International Maritime Organization.

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