Ruksha: We must ensure year-round navigation on the Northern Sea Route
© RIA Novosti. Pavel Lvov

Ruksha: We must ensure year-round navigation on the Northern Sea Route

Rosatom is planning to ensure all-year-round navigation along the entire Northern Sea Route, says Vyacheslav Ruksha, Deputy Director of Rosatom and Director for the Northern Sea Route Directorate.

"We are currently creating an economic entity to deal with the development of infrastructure throughout the Arctic," Ruksha said. "From now on, we should be aiming at ensuring all-year-round navigation along the entire Northern Sea Route. This means, we need to make a decision on the Sanin Strait — measure it, introduce the relevant positioning systems, ensure the desirable stern offset accuracy of at least one meter."

Ruksha also explained the division of powers between Rosatom and the Russian Ministry of Transport. "Rosatom will be responsible for the implementation of this project: for the construction and the development of infrastructure," he said. "The Transport Ministry will have responsibility for the standards, the regulatory legal framework, the relevant laws and the fulfillment of international obligations on behalf of the Russian maritime administration. This is the usual practice — division of the terms of reference between those who are doing business and those who observe, providing legal support and ensuring navigation and safety requirements, which is what the ministry will oversee."

He added that ensuring all-year-round navigation was very important for preventing accidents on the Northern Sea Route, but that this must not interfere with the interests of freight carriers.

"The issue is extremely important because we cannot allow even minor emergencies to arise," he explained. "On the other hand, we must ensure the implementation of all projects, because business cannot wait for weeks, as you know. Last year, during the winter navigation period, there was a case when a ship remained ice-locked for almost 31 days while waiting for assistance from an icebreaker."