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The authorities abandoned the idea of expanding the borders of the Northern Sea Route
The Ministry of Eastern Development, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Rosatom decided to abandon the idea of expanding the border of the Northern Sea Route (NSR). The main reason is that conflicts may arise with international law.
As the RBC citing three sources close to the participants in the meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev, who heads the state commission for the Arctic, Rosatom was most opposed. The department believes that it is technically possible to make changes to the Merchant Shipping Code, but then the rules for sailing along the Northern Sea Route will automatically expand to new water areas, and this will cause contradictions with international law.
Currently, coastal states can, within the exclusive economic zone, establish special rules for ships only in ice-covered areas. Due to global warming, it is difficult to prove the presence of ice in the water areas, and a number of ports that they wanted to include in the Northern Sea Route do not freeze at all.
In May, Yuri Trutnev instructed the relevant departments to discuss the idea with Rosatom expanding the borders of the NSR, including the waters of the Barents, White, Pechora, Bering and Okhotsk seas. This would make it possible to ensure the transportation of 2024 million tons of cargo annually along the Northern Sea Route by 80.