The largest Asian countries consider the Northern Sea Route (NSR) as an alternative to the Suez Canal, the head of the Russian Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, Alexei Chekunkov, said at the ministry's board on Friday.
The route along the Northern Sea Route is 40% shorter. "The largest Asian countries consider the NSR as an alternative to the congested Suez Canal transport corridor between Asia and Europe. The route along the NSR is 40% shorter and takes 7 days faster by open water," the minister said.
He noted that the NSR is a "cross-cutting issue" for the development of the Russian Arctic and stressed that the strategy for the development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation provides for the creation of a new infrastructure and fleet to turn the Northern Sea Route into an international transport corridor.
Chekunkov also recalled that Russian shipyards are building five nuclear icebreakers capable of providing year-round passage of ships along the NSR. Together with the development of port infrastructure and the introduction of a new navigation system, this will allow fulfilling the instructions of the Russian President and increasing the cargo turnover along the Northern Sea Route to 80 mln tonnes per year by 2024.